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Stories by author "B. Starr": 10

The Bay Area Muslim Study, conducted by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, estimates the population of Bay Area Muslims to be around 250,000, which makes it one of the largest Muslim communities in the nation. Of all the Bay Area…

Historically, despite a longstanding sympathetic relationship with the United States, Ethiopians rarely sought citizenship in the country. In fact, before the Ethiopian Revolution in 1974, the equivalent Ethiopian word for “immigrate” did not…

Freemasons have been in Oakland for at least as long as Oakland has been an incorporated city of the United States (163 years); the first large wave of Freemasons came, like most other new Americans, for the gold in 1849. One August day in 1854, the…

If you think your high school experience was complicated and difficult to navigate, imagine going to school at Oakland International High School (OIHS) where students come from thirty-three countries and speak over thirty-two different languages. If…

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, trains played a central role in the developing west. In small towns with train stations, “train time,” the time of day when the train arrived, was the day’s highlight. This was delivery hour. The town…

As its name suggests, the First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAMEC) was indeed the first of its denomination to open in Oakland. In fact, it was the first African-American church of any denomination to open in Oakland. The year was 1858, nine…

I wander through Temescal’s Studio One Arts Center on a Saturday in September 2015 to find it mostly empty. The space is impressive, however. There are several spacious, naturally-lit studios, a theater, a hall, a darkroom, a kiln for ceramics, and…

It was in San Francisco that the first Koreans to touch United States soil landed in 1883, as a result of the treaty of Amity and Commerce, signed the year before. (This was thirty years after the gold rush populated the SF bay area with people from…

The Colombo Club, named for Italian-born Christopher Colombus, formed in 1920, a year that marks a transition between the first two waves of Italian immigrants to the US. The first and largest wave of Italians began in 1880 when the only way to…

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