Alameda community members are celebrating the city’s renaming of Jackson Park to Chochenyo Park. The posts that once held a sign with the Andrew Jackson’s name now features artwork from six African American artists in a piece collectively called “Creating Our Futures.”
In January, the Alameda City Council voted 4 to 1 to rename Jackson Park, after the 7th United States president, to Chochenyo Park, after the first language of the East Bay in a territory called Huichin. The change came after community members called for the elimination of white supremacist monuments from public spaces. The renaming marked a victory for residents behind the group Rename Jackson Park and members of the renaming committee who facilitated the process.
“The call to rename Jackson Park is primarily based on his treatment of African, Indigenous, and Native American people. And specifically his life as a slave owner and as someone who both displaced and killed many Indigenous people of this land,” said Rasheed El Shabazz, with the Coalition to Rename Jackson Park, during an Alameda City Council meeting in 2018 referring to the former president.
The movement was reinvigorated in 2020 on the heels of national protests over police violence.
In a recent interview, Shabazz told Peninsula Press that “in the city of Alameda there is a long history of Indigenous people being here and Indigenous peoples being moved.”
Katherine Castro was also a part of the planning process. “We have more hope for the park. We are hoping that people stop by. We hope that it sparks a meaningful and in-depth conversation about the process whether you agree with it or not,” she said. “I would love for people to sit there on the bench or the grass with their mask on and six feet apart to understand why we did this.”
Explore the park through the immersive video story above.