The City of Alameda is not known for having a large black population, especially compared to its closest neighbor, Oakland. However, African Americans have called Alameda home since its incorporation, with the majority coming during and after the Second World War.
Between 2000 and 2010, according to census data, the black population of Alameda increased slightly, from 4,488 to 4,759 residents. This increase is perhaps more notable because of the hundreds of black families who were forced from the Harbor Island Apartments in 2004, a complex that was then home to about a third of the Island’s black population. According to a 2005 survey by Sentinel Fair Housing, half of those residents no longer live in Alameda.
Unlike many nearby cities, Alameda does but not have any streets or facilities named in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The accomplishments of some black residents and others have been recognized through the naming of facilities, most of which are located on the West End, where the majority of blacks in Alameda have lived due to segregation, racist pacts, covenants and homeowners associations, and discrimination by landlords.
Of course, these facilities do not recognize the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the tens of thousands of unsung African Americans who've lived, worked, played, and prayed in Alameda for over 100 years. But it's worth recognizing and remembering.