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“It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.” – Nelson Mandela
While the world was celebrating Nelson Mandela Day on July 18, which marked the 100th year of his birth, many from the West Oakland community remembered the renaming of Cypress Street as Mandela Parkway to honor the significance of bringing down walls of apartheid and the geographic isolation of West Oakland as a result of the Cypress 880 freeway.
When the Loma Prieta earthquake caused the collapse of the freeway a group of ministers and community leaders organized to demand the rerouting and rebuilding in honor of Mandela.
Tulsee Nahtu, born in Oakland, is developing the Mandela Hotel on Mandela Parkway in her home town.
She told the Post that she is a “new generation builder that considers the community first. I salute and thank the West Oakland ministers and community leaders who fought to reroute the freeway and created opportunities for jobs and commercial development. I look forward to working with McClymonds, Ralph Bunche and the community that founded the Cypress/Mandela Training Center. ”