What better way to celebrate Black History Month in the Bay Area than participating in Oakland’s first annual Black Joy Parade? Founder Elisha Greenwell says black people gather often to resist, but not nearly enough to celebrate.
“It’s heavy to resist all the time,” she told us. “I just want to spend one day where there’s nothing to push up against. It’s purely just about celebrating whoever you already are and will be.”
The parade route runs from 14th and Alice Streets to Broadway and Berkeley L. Thomas Way. At the end, the parade becomes a “hyper-positive,” family-friendly celebration featuring food trucks, black artists, and a performance by The Seshen, a terrific R&B band. And it’s all for free. Also, just because it’s called “Black Joy” doesn’t mean it’s exclusionary — Greenwell emphasized that anyone of any race is welcome, “as long as you’re an ally.” My co-host Jamedra Brown Fleischman is bringing her kids and husband. The parade begins at 12:30pm on Sunday, Feb. 25, and more information can be seen here.