Oscar Wright: Oakland’s relentless education advocate

OSCAR WRIGHTFor years, I’ve listened to Oscar Wright speak at board meetings, calling on the district’s leaders to offer the same opportunities to all of the city’s students, regardless of race or income. He often weaves parts of his own experience into his remarks and entreaties, and I’ve long wanted a fuller story of the man behind the podium.

The profile on Wright, which appeared in Tuesday’s Tribune, includes two video clips of Wright addressing the Oakland school board (which, he said, he began doing in 1965, after the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act).

Wright’s full story doesn’t begin to fit in a newspaper article — he has almost 89 years under his belt, after all — but maybe you’ll learn something about him anyway.

This photo of Oscar Wright was taken last month by Tribune staff photographer D. Ross Cameron.


Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • J.R.

    Mr.Wright is WRONG! The evidence shows otherwise.

    Year after year, and decade after decade generations of desperately poor people come here from all over the world and excel academically. These are people that have to overcome more barriers than African American native born people. He should sue black fathers for walking out on their responsibilities, and black mothers for pro-creating when they cannot even care for themselves. The kids are not getting support and structure at home, and this seeps into every other part of their lives. It is time to stop blaming others for what is both an individual yet cultural problem. All he is accomplishing is being an enabler to failure.

  • Nextset

    I noticed in the profile on Wright that he has military service, which means he was IQ scored and routed through basic training and job assignments appropriate to his IQ level and interest.

    It’s interesting how old school blacks have such extensive experience with that kind of programming. And it’s interesting how they were brought up NOT to be welfare parasites and criminals – but the current cohort are being “protected” from “discrimination” or some such nonsense while systematically being ruined by liberal Educrats.

    If OUSD were to embark on a crash course to prepare blacks for military service and not college (in my experience most blacks currently are disqualified from enlisting by performance deficits and by criminal histories) it would do far more good for the black proletariat than college prep. But the Libs would be howling so the districts won’t do it. Too bad, there are a lot of benefits available through service including getting out of Oakland and current & later college support when one is ready to go.

    The learning to march in silence in ranks would be especially useful.

    The USA took a system that worked and threw it away for a system of pacification. How’s that working out for you?

    Brave New World.

  • Jesse James

    Whenever Mr. Wright gets up to speak, I sit up to listen. I am so glad to see him get some recognition! Go Mr. Wright!!!! You are all right to me!