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African American Vintners Showcased in Black Vines Event

Black Vines: A Toast to Black Wineries, Black Art and Black Culture held their 12th anniversary event on Saturday, Feb. 25 at The Bridgeyard, near the Judge John Sutter Regional Shoreline in Oakland. It is the longest-running African American winemaker showcase.

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Winemakers and vintners at Black Vines included Free Range Flower Winery, Wachira Wines, She Wines, Vintnoir, P. Harrell, and Bass Note Sangria, among others.
Winemakers and vintners at Black Vines included Free Range Flower Winery, Wachira Wines, She Wines, Vintnoir, P. Harrell, and Bass Note Sangria, among others.

By Carla Thomas

Black Vines: A Toast to Black Wineries, Black Art and Black Culture held their 12th anniversary event on Saturday, Feb. 25 at The Bridgeyard, near the Judge John Sutter Regional Shoreline in Oakland. It is the longest-running African American winemaker showcase.

Hundreds of guests gathered to celebrate and enjoy a live jazz band while sampling wines and buffets of gourmet bites throughout the venue.

The brainchild of founder Fern Stroud, the event is designed to both promote and support the Black wine experience along with good food and great music.

Stroud, a former Silicon Valley technology professional says, “Black Vines, is a way to bridge gaps and build lifelong ties between community, business and the arts while we celebrate Black excellence.”

Proceeds from the event supports the nonprofit think tank, BlackFemaleProject.org.

Stroud was also excited to announce a new partnership with Alaska Airlines. In the new “Wines Fly Free” program, guests were able to bring cases of wine on their flights back home for free. Also, the McBride Sisters wines are now a featured option on flights with Alaska Airlines.

A.T. Howe, founder of Bass Note Sangria at the Black Vines: A Toast to Black Wineries, Black Art and Black Culture 12th anniversary event. Photo By Carla Thomas

A.T. Howe, founder of Bass Note Sangria at the Black Vines: A Toast to Black Wineries, Black Art and Black Culture 12th anniversary event. Photo By Carla Thomas

Paula Harrell, left, owner of P. Harrell Wines with staff at the Black Vines: A Toast to Black Wineries, Black Art and Black Culture 12th anniversary event. Photo By Carla Thomas

Paula Harrell, left, owner of P. Harrell Wines with staff at the Black Vines: A Toast to Black Wineries, Black Art and Black Culture 12th anniversary event. Photo By Carla Thomas

Wachira Wines staff pour samples of wine at the Black Vines: A Toast to Black Wineries, Black Art and Black Culture 12th anniversary event. Photo By Carla Thomas

Wachira Wines staff pour samples of wine at the Black Vines: A Toast to Black Wineries, Black Art and Black Culture 12th anniversary event. Photo By Carla Thomas

Winemakers and vintners at Black Vines included Free Range Flower Winery, Wachira Wines, She Wines, Vintnoir, P. Harrell, and Bass Note Sangria, among others.

“We see this event as an extension of their collective and independent outreach efforts to increase awareness, visibility and market demand for these labels. Our core mission is to provide a tasting experience unlike any other. There has been a steady loyalty factor born out of our Black Vines annual event.”

Additional Black Vine partners include Wine Direct, an industry-leading direct-to-consumer platform; the NAACP x BeyGOOD Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund for winery empowerment, and She Can, which provides grants and services via the McBride Sisters wine brand.

For Stroud, building economic pathways in the industry will strengthen the business of Black vintners, and ensure sustainability for their community.

“These strategic alliances further establish our desire to provide a consumer touchpoint for wineries to be introduced to a new consumer base. The future success of wineries, going forward, will be heavily dependent upon the experiences created for new potential customers.”

For every event, Stroud, says spreading love is key. “With all that we do for Black Vines, love is at the heart of it, and we want our guests and patrons to feel every bit of that.”

For more information visit: www.BlackVines.net

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Arts and Culture

Third Annual Town Up Tuesday Lifts Oakland’s Community, Culture and Joy

Urban Peace Movement announced Town Up Tuesday, a free community music and social awareness festival dedicated to the people of Oakland to celebrate Bay Area culture and create safety by fostering connection and belonging. It will be on Tuesday, May 21, at Edoff Memorial Bandstand at Lake Merritt from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria. Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.
The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria. Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.

By Kyung Jin Lee

Urban Peace Movement announced Town Up Tuesday, a free community music and social awareness festival dedicated to the people of Oakland to celebrate Bay Area culture and create safety by fostering connection and belonging.

It will be on Tuesday, May 21, at Edoff Memorial Bandstand at Lake Merritt from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria.

Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.

Past performers have included: Kamaiyah, Yukmouth, Stunnaman02, Symba, Lil Kayla, Grand Nationxl, Jane Handcock, and D Smoke, among others.

“Oakland is a historically Black city and one of the most diverse and progressive in the country — a city rich with culture,” said Nicole Lee, executive director of the Urban Peace Movement.

“At a time when we are being scapegoated for political gain and negative narratives of Oakland permeate the press, we’re uplifting who we truly are and all the things that make this region so special.”

About Urban Peace Movement: Urban Peace Movement (UPM) is a racial justice organization working to end mass incarceration and the criminalization of Black and Brown communities in Oakland. https://urbanpeacemovement.org/ @urbanpeace510

Kyung Jin Lee is the media representative for the Urban Peace Movement.

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Arts and Culture

Richmond Preps for Full Weekend of Cinco de Mayo Festivities

Cinco de Mayo festivities in Richmond and San Pablo are some of the bests in Bay, and organizers say that tradition will be alive and well at this weekend’s annual parade and festival. The action kicks off Saturday, May 4, with the 16th Annual Cinco de Mayo Richmond/San Pablo Peace & Unity Parade. The parade of floats, performances, and community organizations starts at 10 a.m. at 24th Street and Barrett Avenue and Richmond and ends at 12:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Church, 1845 Church Lane in San Pablo.

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Scene from the 2023 Cinco de Mayo parade from Richmond to San Pablo. Photo courtesy The Richmond Standard.
Scene from the 2023 Cinco de Mayo parade from Richmond to San Pablo. Photo courtesy The Richmond Standard.

By Mike Kinney

The Richmond Standard

Cinco de Mayo festivities in Richmond and San Pablo are some of the bests in Bay, and organizers say that tradition will be alive and well at this weekend’s annual parade and festival.

The action kicks off Saturday, May 4, with the 16th Annual Cinco de Mayo Richmond/San Pablo Peace & Unity Parade. The parade of floats, performances, and community organizations starts at 10 a.m. at 24th Street and Barrett Avenue and Richmond and ends at 12:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Church, 1845 Church Lane in San Pablo.

The parade’s Grand Marshall this year will be community organizer Diego Garcia, owner of Leftside Printing.

The festivities continue Sunday with the Cinco de Mayo Festival along 23rd Street, which last year drew over 100,000 people, according to the 23rd Street Merchants Association. This year’s festival will again run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. between the intersections of Rheem Avenue and Clinton Avenue. It will feature two entertainment stages, one sponsored by La Raza 93.3 FM at 23rd and Rheem, and another sponsored by Radio Lazer FM at 23rd and Clinton.

Both events are important for the city and the region’s Latino community.

San Pablo Mayor Genoveva Calloway, who co-chairs the parade alongside John Marquez, president of the Contra Costa Community College District Board of Trustees, says Saturday’s festivities are about bringing the Richmond and San Pablo communities together in unity.

“This truly connects the spectators and people in the parade as one,” Calloway said. “The parade showcases the real communities of Richmond and San Pablo – our nonprofits, schools, horse riders, classic cars and trucks, our local businesses. All of these people represent the heartbeat of our community.”

Rigo Mendoza, vice president of the 23rd Street Merchants Association, said that at its heart, Richmond’s Cinco de Mayo Festival celebrates the date the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

But John Marquez started up the popular festival to bring the community together and also to exhibit the community’s businesses and culture to visitors, Mendoza said. The gathering was also a way to promote peace in the community.

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Art

Mario Van Peebles’ ‘Outlaw Posse’ Screened at Oakland’s Grand Lake Theatre

The Oakland International Film Festival hosted a screening of “Outlaw Posse” at the Grand Lake Theatre on Monday. Special guests included director/actor Mario Van Peebles and his co-star, Oakland native Scytorya Rhodes. The film is Peebles’ second western, the first being ‘Posse,’ 13 years ago.

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Film director Mario Van Peebles, who also stars in “Outlaw Posse,” appeared at a press conference held at RBA Creative on MacArthur Boulevard hosted by the Oakland International Film Festival. Photo By Carla Thomas.
Film director Mario Van Peebles, who also stars in “Outlaw Posse,” appeared at a press conference held at RBA Creative on MacArthur Boulevard hosted by the Oakland International Film Festival. Photo By Carla Thomas.

By Carla Thomas

The Oakland International Film Festival hosted a screening of “Outlaw Posse” at the Grand Lake Theatre on Monday. Special guests included director/actor Mario Van Peebles and his co-star, Oakland native Scytorya Rhodes. The film is Peebles’ second western, the first being ‘Posse,’ 13 years ago. Filmmaker Van Peebles shared his passion for independent artistry and producing projects with his son, Mandela, who also starred in the film, along with Whoopi Goldberg and Cedric the Entertainer. Next week, The Post will publish an in-depth interview featuring Peebles’ reflections on his work, future projects, and continuing his father’s legacy and Rhodes on her grandfather, a real-life cowboy.

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