Murals on display last summer at Peralta Hacienda Historical Park. Credit: Amir Aziz

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Oakland will be closing out Black History Month with the in-person return of the Black Joy Parade this Sunday, Feb. 27. Oaklandside contributor Brandy Collins wrote a preview of the celebration, which has grown in popularity since its debut five years ago. 

We’ve included a few other Black History Month events in this week’s roundup, as well.

Cold weather is forecast for the rest of this week—in fact, there was even a freeze alert issued for Oakland—so dress warmly if you’re venturing outdoors. We hope to be able to showcase indoor events soon. 

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.

Red Bay Coffee hosts an open house

One of the country’s few Black-owned specialty coffee companies is celebrating 8 years of serving up uniquely tasty brews, including its popular yam latte. Last April, Red Bay opened its new headquarters in the heart of Fruitvale. The location used to be a bank, then a clothing shop, until a fire in 2014 destroyed much of the inside. This Friday’s celebration will include small bites, free coffee, and more. If you haven’t visited Red Bay, be prepared to be blown away—by the coffee as well as the transformed space.

Friday, Feb. 25, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., free to attend, 3136 International Blvd. 

Black Love Film Festival at Mills College

Mills College campus seen empty during the pandemic and following news of the merger with Northeastern University. Credit: Amir Aziz

Mills College’s Black Action Forum, a planning committee of students, faculty, and staff, is hosting the festival as part of its year-round Black History programming. The event will showcase short films by the Mills community exploring the question, “What is Black love?” If you’ve never been, the beautiful 170-year-old Mills campus in East Oakland is not to be missed. The women’s college, known for its unique programs in ethnic studies, education, and women’s studies, will no longer offer some of those specialized degrees after it merges with Northeastern University. Please note that this is an outdoor screening, so dress warm and bring extra blankets. 

Friday, Feb. 25, 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., free to attend (register online), Mills College (Holmgren Meadow), 5000 MacArthur Blvd. 

I Am Not Your Negro screening at Peralta Hacienda

Peralta Hacienda is wrapping up its Black History Month programming with a screening of the 2016 Oscar-nominated documentary, I Am Not Your Negro. The film, which is based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, examines the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin’s personal recollections and conversations with civil rights leaders. The screening will take place at the historical park’s newly built open-air pavilion. 

Saturday, Feb. 26, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m, free (register online), Peralta Hacienda, 2465 34th Ave. 

Community Toy Swap in Redwood Heights

Sprinkles Parents is a local group that provides resources to parents of children 5 and under. Their toy swap is an opportunity for parents to re-gift toys that are still in good shape but no longer being used, pick up different lightly used toys and games, and meet other Oakland parents. Coffee, juice, and snacks will be provided. And because the swap takes place at a park, there’ll be plenty of space for families to distance and for kids to run around. Leftover toys will be donated to La Clinica de la Raza in Fruitvale. 

Saturday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m., $10 per person, Avenue Terrace Playground, 3380 Jordan Rd.

Garden Work Day on High Street

The High Street Coalition is a group of volunteers and neighbors from Laurel, Allendale, and Maxwell Park, who got together two years ago to organize bi-monthly cleanups around High Street. Besides the cleanups, the coalition is also taking on beautification projects. The latest is a small garden at a dilapidated corner just off the I-580 on High Street (across the street from Walgreens). The coalition is looking for volunteers to help clean up the area and spread compost. If you can’t make it to this weekend’s garden clean-up, there will be future opportunities to help. 

Saturday, Feb. 26, 8:30 a.m to 1 p.m., 580 East Off-Ramp, corner of High Street

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.