"Highway and city planners saddled a once-proud Black community with freeways and diesel fumes, while more affluent white neighborhoods were spared the traffic and toxics. "
"OAKLAND — Proud but beleaguered, West Oakland is easy to spot on a map.
This Black enclave — not far from the stately Bay Bridge and just downslope from the mansions of the East Bay hills — is sandwiched by three major freeways. Each day, the trucks and cars that travel these concrete corridors spew toxic pollution into yards and homes, where roughly 45,000 people live.
West Oakland is an example of how government leaders purposely deployed infrastructure to disenfranchise people of color. Starting in the 1940s, urban planners deliberately located heavy industry and truck corridors around the area’s historically black neighborhoods, according to a sitting city planner and documents reviewed by The Washington Post, along with federal and state documents.
Sheng Thao, the city’s new mayor, said it is well known that West Oakland residents were the victims of discriminatory planning."