Huey P. Newton's photo and flowers left by visitors of the ceremony at the corner of Center & 9th streets in West Oakland, across the street from where he was murdered in 1989. Credit: Amir Aziz

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As we look ahead to this week’s events, remember that starting tomorrow in Oakland and elsewhere in Alameda County, only unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear a mask in most indoor settings. Local businesses can still require that customers wear masks though, so don’t forget to bring one with you if you’re heading out. Oakland’s local ordinance requiring proof of vaccination to enter places like bars, restaurants, and gyms, remains in effect. 

Email your questions and comments to azucena@oaklandside.org, and if there’s an upcoming outdoor or online event you think we should feature, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Dr. Huey P. Newton’s 80th birthday celebration

A year ago, community members gathered in West Oakland to dedicate a three-block section of Ninth Street to Huey P. Newton, who together with Bobby Seale co-founded The Black Panther Party in Oakland in 1966. To commemorate the one-year anniversary of Dr. Huey P. Newton Way and celebrate what would’ve been Newton’s 80th birthday, the community will gather once again at the same location. Speakers will include Fredrika Newton, Huey’s widow and the co-founder and president of the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation. Following the remarks, the MJ Brass Boppers band will lead a car caravan to DeFremery Park where there will be a free screening of the movie Judas and the Black Messiah.

Thursday, Feb. 17, 5 p.m., corner of Mandela Parkway and Dr. Huey P. Newton Way 

Jazz and punk rock at Original Pattern Brewing Co.

Live events are back at Original Pattern, a brewery in the Jack London district. Every Friday night, you can drink a cold one from the brewery’s selection while enjoying the sounds of the Nick Culp Quartet, composed of local Bay Area jazz musicians alongside Culp, a Los Angeles-born pianist. 

Every Friday night, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., free, Original Pattern Brewing, 292 4th St.

On Saturday, two Oakland-based punk bands, Stay Out and The Lucky Eejits take over the brewery. Both of this weekend’s events are part of SF Beer Week, organized by the Bay Area Brewers Guild, a nonprofit supporting local craft beer, brewers, and beer enthusiasts. The brewery will have some exclusive pours, and Good Eat Dumplings will be providing the food.

Saturday, Feb. 19, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., free, Original Pattern Brewing, 292 4th St.

A public reading of the Baldwin Centennial Project 

A public theatrical reading at Peralta Hacienda Historical Park will honor the life and work of James Baldwin. Credit: Peralta Hacienda Historical Park

We’re still two years away from what would’ve been the writer and activist James Baldwin’s 100th birthday, but organizations in Oakland are already busy planning for the occasion. This weekend, Oakland Public Theater will perform a theatrical reading of their planned 2024 production, the Baldwin Centennial Project, at Peralta Hacienda Historical Park. In addition to celebrating Baldwin’s legacy, the production will explore how the African American author and social critic’s personal life as an openly gay man influenced his creative work. 

Saturday, Feb. 19, 3 p.m., free to attend, register online, Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, 2465 34th Ave.

Lunar New Year and 2022 Local Heroes Ceremony

Join District 4 Councilmember Sheng Thao and the Laurel District Association in honoring neighborhood volunteers for their contributions to the community. The celebration will take place at Degrees Plato on MacArthur Boulevard. Following the ceremony, Sifu “Master” Lacey will lead the Buk Sing Kung Fu Academy of Fremont in a traditional lion dance to bless the district’s businesses. Expect to see traditional costumes, music, and firecrackers. The parade will take place along MacArthur from 35th Avenue to High Street. 

Saturday, Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., free to attend, Degrees Plato, 4251 MacArthur Blvd. 

Azucena Rasilla is an East Oakland native, a bilingual journalist reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.