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A Look Into Oakland's Scene

Okayafrica contributor Candi Martinez runs down a a look into Oakland's scene.


From artist collectives to all night dance parties, copious farmer's markets and an official holiday honouring hip-hop, Oakland never skips a chance to come together and celebrate life. With its diverse population of immigrants, artists, radicals, educators, taste makers, and free thinkers, the city is a cultural oasis, where nearly anything is possible. Here's a guide to a handful of groups, venues and events in Oakland dedicated to sharing and celebrating culture from across Africa and the diaspora.

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Visual Artists

Photo of Keba Konte

This list would be incomplete without honoring Oakland's artists. Painter/sculptor Eesuu Orundide blurs the line between fine art and street art. His 16 Cowries series (a semi-permanent installation at SF's African American Art & Cultural Complex) elicits conversation about how we define wealth. Photomontage artist Keba Konte (above) is known for his complex and layered historical narratives created by combining photography with clever woodworking techniques– his distinguished pieces grace many Bay Area cafes, galleries and theaters. Kenyan-born painter Omiiroo Nyeusi employs a wicked color base to push viewers beyond expectations– the result of which is a fresh take on the Black experience that features elements of music, politics and identity. Catch Eesuu Orundide’s “Sugar.0” opening April 4th at Sole Space (1714 Telegraph).

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Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

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Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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