Oakland hosts first 'Black Sunday,' featuring African-American businesses, products, culture

 There’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and now, Black Sunday.

The first annual Black Sunday expo took place at Beebe Memorial Cathedral in Oakland's Temescal neighborhood.

Organizer Cathy D. Adams came up with the idea. "It's an opportunity where we promote and showcase African American business owners,” said Adams.

The expo featured small business owners from the black community. Vendors sold jewelry, clothing, food, and holiday gifts. "The Michelle Obama purse is really popular,” said vendor Samantha Wall Laidler. She was there showcasing her clothing and accessories business called “Unlimited Fashion.” 

“"The variety of products we have here you don't see in the mall,” said Laidler. “So they can come here and get some unique gifts."

Several African-American coalitions and individuals came together to host the event including Rev. Dr. Charley Hames Jr., the pastor at Beebe Memorial Cathedral. Hames is also the chairman of Oakland’s African American Chamber of Commerce. 

“Black Sunday gives an opportunity for all of these businesses to not only display their goods and their gifts and their talents but for us to have a connection not only to our community, but to circulate the dollar back to the community," he said.

This year, there were about 20 vendors. Organizers hope Black Sunday will become an annual tradition in the Bay Area and nationwide.

We're kind of hoping this will take on and become like “Black Sunday USA,” said Adams. She calls this more than a shopping experience. It’s about getting exposure, networking, and promoting positivity. “Being able to be encouraged. It's an empowerment event."