After police were called on a barbecue, black Oaklanders share stories of racism and evictions: ‘We’re being pushed out’

Kenzie Smith can’t get the voice out of his head. The woman could’ve ended his life with a single phone call, he said, and her threatening words play on repeat.

The 37-year-old Oakland man made headlines last month when a white woman called police on him for barbecuing at Lake Merritt, a public park he has frequented since he was a child. Jennifer Schulte, who called 911 to complain about Smith’s use of a charcoal grill, was soon nicknamed BBQ Becky, becoming the subject of viral memes and the most recent symbol of white Americans harassing black people.

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