Something to remember, as we enter a new year: Yesterday's history, Tomorrow is a mystery and Today is a gift, that's why it is called "the present". [Via]

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Prescott-Oakland Point Celebrates Black History Month


This was the longest Black History month in four years; and there has been a lot of Black History shared this month.
Probably my all time favorite is Jack Johnson the world's first African-American heavyweight champion who defeated Canadian Tommy Burns on December 26, 1908, in the World Boxing Championship held in Sydney; not because of his boxing, but as an inventor who patented a wrench (U.S.patent#1,413,121) on April 18th, 1922.
In the Prescott neighborhood, being one of the oldest neighborhoods in Oakland, we have our own hyperlocal history. Therefore, in conclusion of Black History month for the year 2012, I submit one more:


Jesse "The Lone Cat" Fuller; one man band; played the fotdella or “foot-diller” as his wife named it.
Born in 1896 in Jonesboro, Georgia, Jesse Fuller came to California in 1922 and the Prescott Oakland Point neighborhood in 1929 to work in the Southern Pacific Railway terminal yards icing reefers. The Southern Pacific Railway main station at 16th and Wood brought a significant and influential African-American population to the area.

With the annual pass for "self and wife" provided by the railroad, he returned to Georgia to find himself a "real nice wife to go with the pass.” Soon Jesse was able to save enough money to purchase a home on 11th street with wife Gertrude F. Fuller, where he raised three daughters; Jarania, Alice and Gertrude.

More Bay Area arts heroes of black history