Talk of the Town

Tower of Power's Lenny Williams

Lenny Williams is a soul singer best known for his time as the lead singer of the legendary Oakland-based band Tower of Power. His voice can be heard on some of the band's most popular songs, including "What Is Hip?" and "So Very Hard to Go". He is also a successful solo recording artist, with more than a dozen albums released.

Shannon Nash, tech exec and film producer

Shannon Nash is the chief financial officer of Wing Aviation, a subsidiary of Alphabet. The company is working on developing drone delivery systems for packages. On top of being the CFO of Wing, Nash is also a film producer, working on projects focused on topics ranging from autism, to board diversity.

Carol Williams, advertising powerhouse

Carol Williams, an Oakland resident, is in the Advertising Hall of Fame for good reason. She created a famous commercial for the Pillsbury Doughboy as well aa a memorable campaign for Secret deodorant with the line: "Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman."

Elaine Brown, ex-Black Panthers leader

Elaine Brown, the only woman to lead the Black Panthers, joins Dave Clark to talk about her big project in Oakland — the construction of a major affordable housing project on the city's west side that will be open to low-income tenants in May 2024.

LeRonne Armstrong, Ex-OPD chief, returns

Former Oakland Police Chief Leronne Armstrong is an Oakland native, and on top of playing basketball at McClymonds High School, also played college basketball at Sacramento State. He’s now using that basketball knowledge to help coach the basketball team at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland.

Jamal Cooks, Chabot College president

Jamal Cooks is the new president of Chabot College in Hayward. He’s an Oakland native with more than 20 years of teaching, research, and leadership experience, who is now the tenth president of Chabot.

Chris Chatmon of Kingmakers

Christopher Chatmon is CEO and founder of Kingmakers of Oakland an award winning nonprofit that supports school districts around the country to improve the educational and life outcomes of Black male students.

Brandon Nicholson, The Hidden Genius Project

The Hidden Genius Project is a true Oakland success story. The group introduces inner-city kids to coding and gets them on track for careers in tech. CEO Brandon Nicholson talks about his passion for the mission.

Brendon Woods, Alameda County public defender

Dave Clark speaks with Brendon Woods, the public defender for Alameda County. Woods is passionate that everyone deserves free access to legal services regardless of their position in life. Too many people who are innocent, especially people of color, wind up behind bars because they could not afford a vigorous defense, he said. Woods hopes Gov. Newsom will not slash funding for public defenders and he hopes to see more African-Americans serving on juries.

Fawn Weaver, CEO of Uncle Nearest whiskey

Fawn Weaver is the founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest premium whiskey, one of the fastest-growing brands in America. It's named for an enslaved man named Uncle Nearest who taught Jack Daniel everything he knew about making whiskey. Weaver's company, besides being Black-owned, also has an all-female staff. Weaver also sits on the boards of major corporations and makes supporting the education of Black college students a priority.

D'Wayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Toné!

D’Wayne Wiggins is the leader of the nationally known Oakland-based group Tony! Toni! Toné! Wiggins talks about his love for his Oakland roots, traveling around the world performing, and why he thinks it’s so important to be a mentor and encourage young performers who follow him. He also explains the origins of the group’s unusual name.

Rue Mapp, CEO of Outdoor Afro

Through her company Outdoor Afro, which is based in Oakland, Rue Mapp encourages Black people to enjoy the outdoors, be involved with the environment and to be surprised by the nature that exists in the Town.

Shelia Tyson

Shelia Tyson is the sister of the late Bernard Tyson, a former chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. She stops by Talk of the Town to chat about her brother who was not only one of Oakland’s highest-ranking black business leaders, he was also a top business leader in America who happened to be black. He grew up in Vallejo, and passionately cared about the future of Oakland. Learn more about Bernard Tyson's personal life, beyond his legendary status as a business giant.

Dee Johnson, Lend A Hand director

Lend A Hand has been around 20 years in Oakland and was created to do just that: help people in need, in a variety of ways. The foundation gives thousands of new backpacks for school students, food for those who are hungry and shelter when it’s needed. Dee Johnson is an African-American woman who works tirelessly as the Lend A Hand director along with her volunteers to make life better in Oakland.

Angela Watson, San Francisco Ballet

Angela Watson, 19, of Oakland, is the only African-American dancer with the San Francisco Ballet. She talks about how it feels to be "the only one" in the esteemed ballet company, how her Oakland upbringing prepared her for her dance career, her love for performing and about being a role model for young African-American dancers coming behind her.

Stewart Perrilliat, creator of Man 2 Man

Stewart Perrilliat created Man 2 Man, a program that focuses on strengthening Black Men, Black families, and getting them to face historical problems. Man 2 Man helps men reach their full potential through personal development, professional enrichment and spiritual accountability.

Eric Jones, Sea Valor founder

Eric Jones received a Medal of Valor for pulling and carrying five people from the impact zone at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Jones runs a program called Sea Valor, based in his hometown of Oakland and aboard the USS Hornet, that mentors Bay Area teenagers, taking them out on the water, introducing them to sailing, and instilling discipline and hope for the future.

Hardy Nickerson, ex-NFL player, Cal star

Bishop O'Dowd High School Football Coach Hardy Nickerson stops by to talk about leadership and the importance of shaping the lives of young men. Nickerson is a former NFL linebacker and was a college football standout at Cal. He talks to host Dave Clark about his sports career and who changed his life as a young boy growing up in Compton.

Activist Oscar Wright

Oscar Wright at 99 continues to be an advocate for Black families in Oakland and remembers everything: from being a child, picking cotton in the segregated South to paying for scholarships for Oakland students.

Oakland Fire Chief Reginald Freeman

Oakland's Fire Chief Reginald Freeman stops by “Talk of the Town” to chat about what it’s like to be the fire chief, a job he calls “very rewarding”. Learn more about how Freeman’s childhood and early firefighting career shaped him to be the community leader he is today.

Actor Delroy Lindo

Acclaimed actor Delroy Lindo stops by “Talk of the Town” to share why he calls Oakland home. The award-winning actor was born in England and moved to the United States when he was 16 years old. Lindo talks about his career from his early days on stage to his eventual move to movies and television.

Marsha Rhynes and the Maya Angelou Essay Contest

Marsha Rhynes runs the Maya Angelou Essay Contest within the Oakland Unified School District. The contest is dedicated in the late Guy Johnson’s honor. He was the only child of Dr. Maya Angelou and a longtime OUSD supporter who helped create the contest.

Kim Cloud of the It's All Good Bakery

Kim Cloud is the owner of It’s All Good Bakery. Since 1996, Kim and his family have created tasty treats using the finest ingredients and recipes handed down from his grandmother and mother. But, before it was a bakery, the building has a historic connection in Oakland’s black community and the Black Panthers.