Black Joy Parade, Black Joy, Oakland

It’s The Joy For Me! Oakland’s Streets Overflow During 2024 Black Joy Parade

This year's Black Joy Parade gathered over 127 participating groups. The event has reached a peak of 40,000 since its first event in 2018.

Thousands gathered throughout Oakland, California, on Sunday to celebrate the annual Black Joy Parade.

The Feb. 25 event took place in honor of the Black experience and the community’s rich history and culture during Black History Month. Parade sponsor ABC7 captured moments from Sunday’s lively celebration, which organizers say has continued to grow over the years, with 2024 seeing over 127 groups participate.

“We have one of our biggest parades yet — and it continues to grow. I’m really excited about it,” said parade director Elycia Knight. The event brings crowds to Oakland’s historic Black business district on Franklin Street, providing an economic boost. “We are hoping to reactivate this space and kind of bring some economic empowerment to this area as well,” Knight said.

Live stream co-host Tayleur Brown-Crenshaw noted the parade’s economic impact, stating it “brings in an incremental $100,000 to Black-owned restaurants alone each year.”

Headliners like singer Durand Bernarr and Dear Silas entertained this year’s jubilant participants, according to the Black Joy Parade website.

Ahead of the event, founder Elisha Greenwell shared her wall of posters with CBS News. The posters, which hang in her home office, represent a timeline of memories for the Black Joy Parade. Alongside co-founder Amber Lester, they launched the nonprofit in 2018 with a team of local volunteers to commemorate the Black community. They envisioned it as a day to celebrate rather than gathering to fight “against the system and having to be on the frontlines like we always are,” Greenwell shared. “I just wanted to have a moment where it wasn’t that; that we were gathered in a big group for celebration.”

“It wasn’t just something we wanted and needed, but so many other people were craving it,” Greenwell said about the community’s desire for such a celebratory event. More than 14,000 people showed up to the inaugural celebration.

It’s not too late to get in on the action with the Black Joy Parade family. Catch the “Golf & Grooves” Tournament fundraiser on Apr. 22 at Oakland’s Metropolitan Golf Links.

View the non-profit’s documentary to learn more.