PHOTOS: Black Joy Parade Returns to Oakland for 2nd Year of Music, Dance and Pride

Joelle Gunter was one of thousands who filled downtown Oakland for the Black Joy Parade. (Pendarvis Harshaw/KQED)

Thousands filled the streets of downtown Oakland on Sunday for the second annual Black Joy Parade.

Billed as a "hyper-positive, family-friendly turn up that celebrates the Black experience and our community's contribution to cultures past, present and future," the event kicked off with a parade down Broadway and continued with an all-day celebration featuring vendors and musical acts.

"I just wanted people to be happy, to celebrate themselves and know what they're worth, know that they're great, just the way they are," said organizer Elisha Greenwell.

"It's important to see black joy as opposed to black sorrow," said Jamese Conteh, who traveled from Las Vegas with her husband and two kids to attend the event.

A drum group performs during the Black Joy Parade in downtown Oakland.
A drum group performs during the Black Joy Parade in downtown Oakland. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)

Grandma Vickie Goins of Oakland brought her granddaughters to the parade: Constance Capers, Kaliyah Capers, Lamariah Hayes, and Emerald Capers. "I grew up in an atmosphere of black empowerment," Goins said. "My aunt was a Black Panther."
Grandma Vickie Goins of Oakland brought her granddaughters to the parade: Constance Capers, Kaliyah Capers, Lamariah Hayes, and Emerald Capers. "I grew up in an atmosphere of black empowerment," Goins said. "My aunt was a Black Panther." (Sara Hossaini/KQED)

Members of the Prescott Circus School walk in the Black Joy Parade.
Members of the Prescott Circus School walk in the Black Joy Parade. (Pendarvis Harshaw/KQED)
Miyishia Shay, Tiffany Andrews and Jamala Massenburg have a book club called "Booktini," which focuses on black female authors. Andrews says the parade is a fun time and reminds African-Americans that "we still exist! It would be nice if it were more than just once a year."
Miyishia Shay, Tiffany Andrews and Jamala Massenburg have a book club called "Booktini," which focuses on black female authors. Andrews says the parade is a fun time and reminds African-Americans that "we still exist! It would be nice if it were more than just once a year." (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Oakland A's mascot Stomper gets into the swing of the Black Joy Parade.
Oakland A's mascot Stomper gets into the swing of the Black Joy Parade. (Pendarvis Harshaw/KQED)
"RB" on bike he designed and Scraper Bike team leader Chuck Davis pose at the Black Joy Parade in downtown Oakland.
"RB" on bike he designed and Scraper Bike team leader Chuck Davis pose at the Black Joy Parade in downtown Oakland. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)

The Conteh family came all the way from Las Vegas for the event. Mom Jamese says she wanted to present black culture to her kids in a positive light. "It's important to see black joy as opposed to black sorrow." Son Khamri says being immersed in a see of black people is "awesome. It's amazing!" (L-R: Ibrahim, Jameela,, Jamese and Khamri)
The Conteh family came all the way from Las Vegas for the event. Mom Jamese says she wanted to present black culture to her kids in a positive light. "It's important to see black joy as opposed to black sorrow." Son Khamri says being immersed in a see of black people is "awesome. It's amazing!" (L-R: Ibrahim, Jameela,, Jamese and Khamri) (Sara Hossaini/KQED)

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KQED's Pendarvis Harshaw contributed reporting to this post.

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