Harold “Slim” Jenkins

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Harold Slim Jenkins (1890–1967) was the prominent African-American founder of the Slim Jenkins Cafe, a premier night club in West Oakland in the 1930s through the 1960s that featured such stars as B.B. King, The Ink Spots, Dinah Washington, and other major jazz and blues groups.[1] Both the nightclub's centrality and Jenkins' charismatic personality earned him the nickname the "Mayor" of West Oakland.[2] The cafe, located on Wood Street between 7th and 8th Street, was an important part of the rise of the 7th Street corridor, an epicenter of Black culture in the Bay Area including soul food restaurants, clubs, and other black-owned businesses.[3] In addition to music, the club was also a popular spot for hosting black men's social clubs and other groups that increased the visibility of African-American life within the city of Oakland.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Thompson,, Jerry, and Duane Deterville (2007). Black Artists in Oakland. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 9780738547251.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. Heyliger, Sean (2013). "Guide to the Harold Jenkins Photograph Collection". Online Archive of California. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  3. Bindman, Ariana (July 7, 2020). "West Oakland Was Once an Economic Hub for the Bay's Black Community. What Happened?". The Bold Italic. Retrieved February 7, 2022.

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