Longfellow is an Oakland neighborhood in North Oakland nestled between Temescal and Mosswood to the East, Santa Fe to the North, the city of Emeryville to West, and Hoover/Foster (in West Oakland) to the South. It is a corridor spanning between Adeline St. and MLK Way. Though its boundaries are sometimes disputed, it is roughly bounded by 52nd St. to the north and the 580 Freeway to the south. The neighborhood is largely residential, scattered with a numerous small businesses. The bounds of this neighborhood largely overlap with the JAMMI neighborhood.
The neighborhood of Longfellow, formerly an Italian neighborhood in the early 1900s, anchored around Sacred Heart Parish on 40th and MLK Way (formerly Grove St.), which was founded in 1876. In the 1940s and 1950s, the neighborhood demographics transitioned into a more African American population. Childhood homes of Huey Newton and David Hilliard, and the Second Black Panther Party Office were located in Longfellow.1
The predecessor of the AAMLO was located here on 3651 Grove Street (now MLK) and it was called East Bay Negro Historical Society.
The neighborhood's name is derived from poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whose name was introduced with the opening of Longfellow Elementary School on Lusk St. and 39th St., which closed in 2004. Richard Aoki's mother reportedly attended Longfellow School.2
In 1982, Nancy Reagan visited Longfellow Elementary School as part of a nation-wide anti-drug tour, and first coined the phrase 'Just Say No' in response to a student's question on what to say if offered drugs.3
There are local myths that Italian-Americans in Longfellow and surrounding neighborhoods heavily participated in the illegal production of alcohol (hooch) during the Prohibition period.
For a much more detailed, and well cited, sequence of events, check out A Brief History of Oakland's Longfellow Neighborhood, compiled by local historian, Larry Rice.
Community Bulletin Board on 43rd and Market
The Longfellow Community Association (LCA) launched in January 2010. The LCA has a membership of roughly 200 people. It comprises five committees, which focus on thematic issues that include business outreach, security, transportation, greening and, arts and culture.3
Journalism covering the neighborhood at:
Local Businesses and Markets
Longfellow is largely residential. Local businesses and markets include:
- Farmer's Market: Tuesdays, 2pm-7pm at Children's Hospital Oakland (52nd and MLK Way), hosted by People's Grocery.
- See Longfellow Businesses for more expansive list
Always document the date, time, location and nature of call to police. If you need to remember something about a perpetrator, REMEMBER THE SHOES!!
Area II Commander- Captain Anthony Toribio
Problem Solving Officer- Donald Lane
Neighborhood Services Coordinator- Renee Sykes
There's a Thanksgiving Feed and a Toy Drive at 45th and Market every year.
- Jogging routes
- Biking tips
- Walk pool
- Longfellow Community Garden
- Neighborhood Landmarks
- A Brief History of Oakland's Longfellow Neighborhood (Larry Rice, local historian, Longfellow Community Association website)
Longfellow, Oakland, California (Wikipedia)