Oakland is Fly, Fresh, and Fashionable
‘The Best Dress and Cultural Fresh’
A Youth Speaks sponsored event, Life is Living festival is one of the most popular annual fall events in the Bay. This event brings out some of the most innovative in fashion, accessories, hairstyles, cultural wearable arts, and fashion with political statements. Life is Living is an annual community festival focusing on positive, educational workshops on food, diet, health, culture, activism, music, marketplace and cooperative economics, artisans, and emerging and veteran artists.
Fabrics and Accessories
Fashion trends was the Life is Living soundtrack. Stylish attendees became the best backdrop to people dancing, drumming, and children singing. Brass Earrings, Sankofa third eye charms, waxed Ankara on vintage clutches, medallions, imported Lapis Lazuli neckpieces, mudcloth dresses and fezzes sighted. Cowries, Chokers, 2015and imports from Aicha Kone from Arts Africains. Handcrafted accessories by O’Dara Designz , and Moroccan imports, and headdresses by Fulani tribe by vendor Quddus Enterprises help unite the circulation of dollars from Oakland to various parts of Africa! The park adorned customized sunglasses with Kemetic symbols, and other embellishments by Mercedes Martin for Tres Mercedes.
Vintage Styles and Political Statements
The people didn’t fall short of the dress code for the Soul Train line. Dancers were dressed in every era starting with 70’s-90’s vintage threads, ready to dance down the legendary Soul Train line, a concept that comes from Africa showcased on the airwaves with Don Cornellius ground-breaking show. Circles and lines honoring individual dance styles in one synergistic moment of song. Kangols, Afros, headwraps, Mocassins, hot pants, bell bottoms polyesters, vintage linens, and platform shoes scooted down the line one at a time.
‘Justice for Alex Nieto’, and ‘Survival is Political’
Adorned the backs of our activists bringing attention to important campaigns and slogans. Independent tee-shirt designers are very popular in the Bay Area! Other tee shirt designers such as ‘North Gate’, ‘Duafe Queen’, ‘Kiss My Black Arts’, ‘Moorish Gates’, ‘Black Love, Love Black, ‘Oscar Grant, The Movement for Justice’, ‘Black Woman is God’, were among the vendors set up at Life is Living.
Tribal Face Paint, Natural Hair Styles
‘Now shake dem dreads….” A excerpt from E-40’s and Keak da Sneak single, ‘Tell Me When to Go’. Oakland natural hair explosion has been crippling the Korean market locally. A large population of the youth have dreads, sponged picked naturals, wash N’ gos, Mo hawks, cornrows, twists, hundreds of braided styles. Seeing the confidence and acceptance of identity is always a euphoric feeling in an age where indigenous culture is appropriated.
We enjoyed the versatility in face painting. From war paint to tribal marks, face painting with culture was our way of having a chance to enjoy our traditions with each other. Our time sharing art, dance and performance, our unity is a language spoken only here in the Bay area at Life is Living.
Emani Bey is a multi talented community activist, writer, photographer, artist, and parent. She is a married mother of 7, who strives to educate, motivate, inspire and lead by example in restoring the example of family and community. She enjoys capturing the beauty of our struggle through images, testimony, and unveiling our potential through history and contributions. She enjoys documenting the living legends of her peers. She is a leading contributor of Maroon Press.