OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - A lineup of singers, DJs, vendors and a tribute altar to the late Nipsey Hussle are preparing and nearly ready to go this weekend as the Oakland community prepares for its 2nd annual BBQ 'N While Black party at Lake Merritt.
Live performances by Ally Cocaine, Tree Thomas, Lil Tan, The Junior, Honey Gold Jasmine, Yajj, YSD,
Cloey Kaboom and Miachalah are scheduled to perform, alongside a kid zone and a book giveaway among other activities, according to co-organizer Jhamel Robinson. Festivities will run Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. at the area of the lake known as the Cleveland Cascade.
"We're very pleased," he said. "We want people to come and have a good time and come in peace."
The inspiration behind this event was far from peaceful.
Last April, a woman named Jennifer Schulte, nicknamed "BBQ Becky," was captured on video after witnesses said she told two African-American men to stop using a charcoal BBQ at the lake. She called 911 and police came to confront the men. While she was technically right – only gas grills were allowed in that particular area – and no one ended up being arrested, her vitriol against the men of color sparked a national uproar and a backlash of support for diversity in Oakland and beyond.
Robinson said that he wants to stress the latter and make this party an annual positive tradition for all of Oakland. "What started out as a response to racial injustice," he said, "has quickly ballooned into a clarion call for love, community and culture. BBQ'n While Black is about people of all races, genders and places of origin coming together in the spirit of what we call the 'Real Oakland.'"
He's been busy since April raising money for the permits needed to host the event. So far, he's raised more than $8,000 out of a $10,000 goal.