The Black Joy Parade and festival made a celebratory return to the streets of downtown Oakland on Sunday, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.
People of all ages waved red, black, and green flags representing Pan-African solidarity. Classic cars, ornately decorated floats, dance troupes, Black cowboys on horseback, and costumed revelers paraded down Broadway. Dancers swayed to the sound of live bands performing on the main stage. Others simply mingled in the sunshine while browsing and enjoying the offerings from dozens of vendors selling food, drinks, fashion, and other locally produced goods.
The Oaklandside’s visual journalist Amir Aziz was there too, and he captured some of the day’s positivity on camera.
Amir Aziz is a photographer and videographer from Oakland, California. Using photography as his primary medium, Amir documents life and times in his community and the rapid changes in his environment. He's covered music events and social justice movements in the U.S. and abroad for local and international publications. Before shelter-in-place, he traveled to over 10 countries producing multimedia projects juxtaposing the experiences of locals elsewhere to those in his hometown of Oakland. Amir hopes to continue to bridge the gap between African diaspora communities and oppressed groups in the world through multimedia storytelling.