February is ending with a bang with the annual Black Joy Parade on Sunday. The forecast calls for high winds and some rain starting Thursday and continuing through next Tuesday, so dress accordingly. 

If you have an event that you’d like me to consider for this roundup, email me at azucena@oaklandside.org. If there’s an event that you’d like to promote on our calendar, you can use the self-submission form anytime by clicking on our homepage’s “Events” tab. 

Dear Oakland: A collection of films by Oakland youth

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Youth Beat participants filming at The New Parkway Theater. Credit: Amir Aziz

This Thursday, Youth Beat will host a special screening of short films about growing up in Oakland—all produced by young people at the nonprofit organization, which provides free media training and employment opportunities for students attending Oakland public schools. (The Youth Beat team has also been working with The Oaklandside by filming our quarterly live-event series, Culture Makers.) One of the short films appearing in this week’s screening is Displaced, a documentary featuring stories about Oakland youth impacted and displaced by the Bay Area housing crisis.

Thursday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m., free to attend, RSVP, The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St.

Bricktown Joy & Wellness night market

In the year and a half since Agency Oakland opened its doors in Jingletown, the “community-focused” space has hosted all kinds of events—from dance nights with local DJs to a record swap and makers market and even a listening party with local artist G-Eazy. Now the community hub aims to support local business owners and entrepreneurs by launching a series of markets that will take place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For now, the Friday markets will take place once a month in the evening, with the Saturday and Sunday markets happening weekly during the day. In partnership with the Black Joy Parade, this Friday’s inaugural night market will have two stages with live music, over 100 BIPOC vendors, food by local Black and brown chefs, and more. 

Friday, Feb. 24, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., free to attend, Agency Oakland, 2150 Livingston St. 

Vigil for safe streets

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A team of Rapid Revolt volunteers holds signs reminding on-coming traffic to slow down. Credit: Amir Aziz

The Traffic Violence Rapid Response Team is part of a wider grassroots campaign that seeks to end traffic violence across the country. When a collision occurs, the group mobilizes to organize a vigil at the intersection where the accident took place, to bring awareness to the need for safe streets. This Friday, the group will gather on High Street just below the I-580. According to the group, 37 pedestrians and nine cyclists have been struck on High Street over the past decade.

Friday, Feb. 24, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., free to attend, the crosswalk at High Street and I-580 (across from Walgreens)

Crushing Wheelchairs at Piano Fight

Crushing Wheelchairs performance in San Francisco. Credit: POOR Magazine Credit: POOR Magazine

POOR Magazine is a grassroots non-profit arts organization dedicated to providing media, art, and education to underresourced communities, including youth, elders, and the unhoused. This Sunday, the team will debut a new play called Crushing Wheelchairs. The production was developed by unhoused and formerly unhoused disabled youth and elders from Oakland and San Francisco and centers on their struggles living in the streets. The play will be performed at Piano Fight, which is set to close permanently on March 18. Masks will be required for audience members.

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2 p.m., $20 (Email poormag@gmail.com for free/discounted tickets), Piano Fight, 1540 Broadway

Black Joy Parade

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A scene from the Black Joy Parade in 2022. Credit: Amir Aziz

Now in its sixth year, what started as a single-day event in 2018—the inaugural Black Joy Parade featured the Oakland Black Cowboy Association, luxury cars, and community groups from across the Bay Area—has since grown to become a month-long celebration of Black businesses, artists, and others helping to define “Black joy” in Oakland, culminating in a parade and outdoor street festival. The parade will begin promptly at 14th and Franklin streets and end at the festival’s main entrance on 19th and Franklin. Two stages will feature performances by Black artists, including headliner Parliament Funkadelic featuring George Clinton and The Black Joy Choir. The festival will also feature over 200 Black-owned vendors selling food, drinks, clothing, and handmade items, family activities, games for kids, and a Healing Village.

Sunday, Feb. 26, 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., free to attend, the parade begins on 14th and Franklin streets, main entrance on 19th and Franklin

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland 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.