Oakland Festivals Celebrate African Heritage


Facing down the threats of gentrification, three Black producers are keeping African and African American heritage alive in Oakland.


On Aug. 20, Effie Tesfahun is holding the 4th Umoja Festival in West Oakland’s Lowell Park. It features live African music and African food for sale and wares by Black artisans. What makes the Umoja Festival distinct is that there is a SuRu Soccer Tournament. 


On Sept. 4, Travis Watts’ 6th Annual Pan African Black Family Reunion takes place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. featuring live music, DJs, food and opportunities for exercise and art engagement in Mosswood Park. In years’ past the evening featured an outdoor movie showing.


The 3rd annual Black-Eyed Pea Festival on Sept. 10 in Mosswood Park focuses on traditional African American music and handmade crafts. It starts at 11 a.m. with a musical offering to the ancestors followed by two renowned storytellers will perform at noon.


All of the festivals offer community resources and some health screenings.


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