“Raincoat Jones: Black Businessman Extraordinaire,” by Thomas C. Fleming, Mar 17, 1999

“From 1926 until 1945, I was based in the East Bay cities of Berkeley and Oakland, across from San Francisco. Before World War II, West Oakland had the biggest black community in the Bay Area. The yards of both the Southern Pacific and the Western Pacific were in the area, as well as 7th Street, where many black professionals had their offices.

The famous “Big Red” electric ferry trains roared down 7th Street. It was like Lenox Avenue in Harlem, Central Avenue in Los Angeles or State Street on Chicago’s South Side — the center of most black business or social gatherings.” Read More