Russell Yee is a third-generation Oakland resident who is grateful and humbled to live with his wife, Lisa, on Chochenyo Muwekma Ohlone land. When he’s not teaching seminary classes, he’s probably running at Lake Merritt or helping with something at New Hope Covenant Church.
Did my ancestors ever think of Oakland that way: as a place Native Americans once called their own? Perhaps they saw a wooden Indian in front of a cigar store, or a poster for a Wild West show, and somebody explained to them that those were the people who were here first.
AROUND 2:40 A.M. on September 4, 1977, 17-year old Melvin Yu and two other members of the Joe Boys gang, all heavily armed, stormed the Golden Dragon Restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown. They’d been tipped off about the whereabouts of the leaders of two gangs allied against them, the Wah Ching and the Hop Sing Boys.
There I was at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in the underground room traditionally considered the very place where Jesus was born.