Kicking off Black History Month

February kicks off with Lunar New Year, a holiday marking the first day of the lunar calendar celebrated by many around the world, including right here in Oakland. February also marks the start of Black History Month, when we celebrate black culture and its vast contributions to society.

While we’re all looking forward to resuming our indoor outings with friends and strangers, Alameda County still isn’t quite out of the mainstream. COVID surge fueled by omicron. Until transmission levels drop further and public health officials adjust their guidelines, we encourage everyone to take precautions if attending indoor celebrations without a mask.

Remember, starting today, the City of Oakland requires proof of vaccination to enter certain businesses like restaurants, bars, gyms, entertainment venues, cafes and other indoor spaces. public.

We will continue to highlight only online events and outdoor activities aimed at individuals or small circles of loved ones until the surge has passed.

Email your questions and comments to, and if there’s an upcoming online event you think we should feature, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Lakeside Chat #15: What Darwin Wish He’d Known

the Friends of the Rotary Nature Center at Lake Merritt is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the lake as a wildlife refuge and educating Oaklanders of all ages about the natural world. One way to do this is to host “chats” about nature and all things science. This weekend, Friends tackles the question: what recent scientific discoveries would most interest and surprise Charles Darwin if he were alive today updating his classic 1859 tome on evolution, The origin of species? Join Darwin researcher and UC Berkeley psychology professor Dr. Frank J. Holloway on this virtual chat. You can also browse past Lakeside Chats on YouTube.

Friday, February 4, 7 p.m. Register onlinethe Zoom link will be emailed.

Congolese dance lessons

The Oakland Public Library has just unveiled the program for its third edition. black culture day, “A Celebration of the African Diaspora.” The series of virtual and in-person events are happening throughout the month and offer something for everyone, including this virtual dance class taught by local educator and arts advocate LaKiesha Golden. The class will include Soukous, a type of Congolese dance music, and Ndombolo, also a style of music and dance popular in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Don’t miss your chance to discover these musical genres and dance movements from the African continent.

Saturday, February 5, 3:30-5 p.m., free for members of the Oakland Public Library, Register online

East Oakland Youth Skateboarding Lessons

skate like a girla non-profit organization that promotes an inclusive skateboarding community through leadership and social justice education, is hosting a free four-week skateboarding workshop for kids ages 8-12 at 81st Avenue Library. But hurry: only five of the 15 class places remained at the time of publication.

Saturdays, February 5, 19, 25 and March 5, from 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., call 510-615-5812 to register, 1021 81st Ave.

Black joy on wheels

Get your favorite wheel set and join this 8 mile bike ride which starts at City Slicker Farms in West Oakland and stops at Brooklyn Basin’s Township Commons before returning to the farm. You might even spot Stomper, Oakland A’s elephant mascot, rolling along on this less than 30-minute ride. The event is organized by Black Joy Paradea nonprofit that celebrates black culture with events and an annual parade, the next of which is scheduled to resume in person on February 27.

Sunday February 6, 12 p.m., free, Register onlinemeet at City Slicker Farms, 2847 Peralta St.

Akoma Outdoor Market (Black Love Market)

Head to Liberation Park in Far East Oakland to support local vendors by purchasing locally made produce, gifts and food at Akoma Open Air Market, which takes place on the first and third Sundays of each month. You can also bring your roller skates or just watch others skate while you shop at Liberation Park’s outdoor skating rink, or learn about community resources available for families at one of the market’s information tables.

Sunday, February 6, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., free, Liberation Park, 7101 Foothill Blvd.

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