“Love is resistance and it’s important that we work on healing before continuing this struggle.”
The Black Love Festival, organized by China Pharr, Leigh Davenport, and Etecia Brown; provides an example of love being used as an organizing tool to build bridges, share resources, and create healing spaces for and by black people. It takes place on Saturday July 18th from 12-6pm in Heron’s Head Park in Bayview Hunters Pointand will be MC’d by v-logger Gazi Kodzo, with performances by DJ Underdog, Rexxliferaj, Aziza Cree, and live painting by Markus Prime, headliners and more artists will be announced soon. The festival will provide a space for music, food, health education, environmental justice, healing, and arts and is fiscally sponsored by Farms to Grow, an urban farming organization based in Oakland. When asked about the importance of this festival China Pharr states, “Love is resistance and it’s important that we work on healing before continuing this struggle. We’re taking a different approach to how people view resistance. Resistance isn’t just protesting.” Leigh Davenport adds, “Social activism is very taxing . The point is to show love to the black community and to use it as a form of liberation.”
“San Francisco has the fastest out-migration of black people from an American city since post-Katrina New Orleans,”
Pharr gave a compelling argument about why all Bay Area folks should come out to support the Bayview during this event. She mentioned that although the Oakland black community is facing similar issues related to gentrification pushout, there’s a wealth of activities and events that are provided for black people in Oakland which simply isn’t the case in the Bayview. “The black community in San Francisco is hanging by a thread. It has the fastest out-migration of black people since post-Katrina New Orleans,” says Pharr. “We are facing similar issues and it’s important for us to see and learn about the Bayview and connect with black folks across the bridge. Rallying people to make the trip will be an important first step towards unity.”
The Black Love Festival will be free for the community but it’s a grassroots and volunteer-led effort.