"Why I like my city.
— Not too large a city...population 400,000
— Lots of hills, fabulous views. You can see San Francisco & smaller cities like Berkeley & Alameda. Also you can travel on several bridges from Oakland.
— Climate is mild. Not bothered by harsh storms. Sunny afternoons!
— Good transportation. Good bus services and transportation by BART to several cities in surrounding areas.
— The population in Oakland is very diverse. Many cultures are living together here peacefully."
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Maybelle Broussard is as remarkable a person as you are ever likely to meet. The daughter of a former slave (Berry Benjamin Craig), Maybelle was born in Oakland in 1914. After an unfortunate accident while working on the trains, Maybelle's father obtained a job as the elevator operator in 1919 for the then-five-year-old Oakland City Hall.
She attended Cole Elementary School in the heart of a diverse and growing city. Maybelle's mother (Mabel Bohannon Craig) was a college graduate who stressed the importance of a good education for all of her children, and who insisted that Maybelle go to college herself. After high school, Maybelle earned her Bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of California at Berkeley, one of only a small number of African American or female students attending the university at that time.
Over the course of her long life Maybelle has worked for the government, has taught English as a second language, has traveled all over the world (though she says she prefers South America) and has raised three children. In addition, she has four grandchildren and (so far) four great grandchildren.
Maybelle is quick, energetic, funny, intelligent, thoughtful and generous, and it is a singular honor that she agreed to be a part of the Oakland Neighborhood Project.