5 Oakland residents given keys to the city
OAKLAND, Calif. - There was an evening of music and celebration at Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza Thursday, as Mayor Libby Schaaf presented five longtime Oakland residents with the key to the city.
"These are all people who have achieved national fame, but they keep coming back to serve their city," said Schaaf.
The recipients included singer-songwriter Goapele. Schaaf called Goapele a warrior of social justice and praised her for performing at human rights rallies and benefits.
"I’m just forever grateful to this city for supporting my independent spirit. And for being the place that’s about uplifting people and about self-determination," said Goapele.
D’wayne Wiggins, a musician best known for being with the band Tony! Toni! Tone! was also presented a key. He was born in West Oakland and raised in East Oakland. Schaaf said he continues to nurture young talent.
Wiggins said, "My commitment has always been to giving a platform to the next generation."
Critically acclaimed author Tommy Orange was honored. His book "There There" about living as a Native American in Oakland, made Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2020 list.
James Shyabout, Oakland’s only Michelin-star chef was presented a key.
Fredrika Newton, is an activist and former member of the Black Panther Party. She was married to Huey P. Newton, the founder of the organization.
Schaaf said, "Fredrika is making sure the powerful legacy of the Black Panther movement, founded right here in Oakland, is alive and well."
In her speech upon receiving a key, Newton said, "From buildings and infrastructure to social service programs that inspired activists, we can see the threads that connect the work the Black Panther party to the Oakland we see today."