A History of Oakland Resistance to Police Violence

oscar grant rally

The Freedom Archives was happy to have hosted summer interns to help us catalog new materials and produce audio projects that include the archives. Projects that use our archived material is so integral to our intentions as an organization. Without these projects, radical histories would not be able to live outside of our library and off the shelves.

One of our summer interns, Sophie Ashley, a senior at Pitzer College, produced a short 3 minute piece documenting Oscar Grant’s death at the hands of police and how the community mobilized to confront police violence. She connects the community mobilization we saw earlier this year with the efforts of the Black Panther Party in the 60s and 70s to show how Oakland communities have historically found creative ways of resisting police violence.

This is what Sophie had to say about the process of making this project.


Making this audio documentary was a humbling experience. The amount of work that goes into a piece five minutes long is unimaginable to someone unfamiliar with the software and art of audio production.

It was interesting to learn about story telling through audio production because modern media so often has a visual component too. Making a piece about such a sensitive subject come alive through music and narroration was a challenging task.

I want to thank all the artists whose music made the project what it is:
Mistah Fab, Jasiri X and Rukus. I also want to thank Leticia for her help with the story and the physical production. Her advice about the mecanics of the project and her guidance about telling a story of violence in a sensitive manner were very important. It was a really good summer at the Freedom Archives and I recommend it to everyone. Thanks to all parties involved!


Check out the audio project here:


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