East of Palo Alto’s Eden


What if Silicon Valley had emerged from a racially integrated community?

Would the technology industry be different? 

Would we?

And what can the technology industry do now to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past?

bobhooverI met Bob Hoover one sunny Friday afternoon when he was rearranging golf club sets in the back of a trailer in East Palo Alto.

Hoover, one of the original black residents of East Palo Alto, hasn’t retired even though he’s well into his 80s. He splits his time between teaching golf to the children of the neighborhood and counseling former prisoners on re-entering the workforce.

The city where Hoover lives, East Palo Alto, is the last 2.5-mile stretch of affordable housing in the heart of Silicon Valley. It is perfectly wedged between the new Facebook headquarters, the rest of Menlo Park, where the venture firms of Sand Hill Road are based, and Palo Alto, where the tech industry first sprouted around Stanford University more than half…

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