Oakland’s deep roots in black culture are celebrated through the city’s food, music, art, and creativity. Here are a few ways to celebrate The Town’s black-owned businesses, events, and history during Black History Month for your next weekend trip!

 

Friday

Start your weekend off with a delicious house-made pastry and choose from a variety of coffee drinks, including a Lavender Oatmilk Lattee at Oeste Bar & Cafe. Then, get to know Oakland’s history by visiting the African American Museum and Library and diving into over 160 collections of archival materials, including oral histories with civil rights activists, educators, writers, and musicians. AAMLO also houses the Eternal Voices video library, which encompasses more than 80 years of African American history in the East Bay.

Just a short walk from the museum at the Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park is the Remember Them: Champions for Humanity Monument. The incredible bronze sculpture includes 25 culturally-diverse humanitarians such as notable black champions: Maya Angelou, Frederick Douglas, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Dr. Marcus Foster. 

Can’t get enough of our amazing history? Check out the oldest independent black bookstore in the nation, Marcus Book Store.

Once you’re ready for a great meal, Oakland has no shortage of world-renowned black-owned restaurants. Try the Ethiopian eatery, Enssaro, soul food with a twist at Souley Vegan, or if you want to try Californian inspired Jamaican food, Kingston 11 is your spot.

Souley Vegan Food Plate

 

Saturday

Begin your Saturday with some southern fried chicken and waffles at Brown Sugar Kitchen, owned by Top Chef contestant Tanya Holland. Check out other black-owned breakfast spots here.

Brown Sugar Kitchen chicken and waffles with a mimosa and coffee drink

Did you know that the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was founded in Oakland in 1966? Discover the Black Panther’s impact at the Oakland Museum of California’s Black Power exhibition. Or, trace their history on your own with this guide outlining 12 significant locations in Oakland. 

Black Panther Party Exhibit at OMCA

Take time to visit black-owned businesses, a testament to the rich history you just witnessed. McMullen, Oakland’s luxury fashion boutique caters to the modern woman of color, Queen Hippie Gypsy is Oakland’s first black-owned ‘crystal botanica’, Dope Era, is a clothing brand founded and curated by rapper Mistah F.A.B., and Beastmode, is the official lifestyle and athleisure brand of American footballer Marshawn Lynch, specializing in athletic and performance apparel and accessories. These are just some of the wide array out there. For more local businesses, check out Shopping and Leisure.   

For dinner, we recommend an Old Oakland favorite, Miss Ollie’s Caribbean food or Jack London Square's Everett & Jones BBQ for some savory bbq. 

 

Sunday

If you’re here the weekend of February 22nd (let’s just say you should be!), you'll be in town for the Black Joy Parade and Festival! In its 3rd consecutive year, you'll be among more than 20,000 people in this free, family-friendly event that begins downtown with a parade and ends with a cultural festival on 19th and Broadway, including 100+ local artists, crafts, food, performances, and more. Reserve your room at Courtyard Oakland Downtown by February 10th and get a special rate of $179 + tax. 

Black Joy Parade Attendees

Check out more awesome black-owned food spots for your last meal in The Town.

Brown Sugar Kitchen Fried Chicken Sandwich

Ready to plan your visit? Book your flight and hotel!

Southwest Airlines offers a 2-8% discount on posted fares and you can reserve anytime online. Use Black Joy Parade ID 99382021 for the discount at checkout.

Book your stay at one of our awesome hotels.

Be sure to check out our Black History Month page for even more trip inspiration.