First Friday

The question of who should or should not be on any given street in Oakland came to a head recently at the city’s monthly First Friday Art Murmur event. In the past few years, First Friday has grown from a small art walk to a street party that attracts more than 20,000 people.  And increasingly, they’re people who represent very different Oaklands: the one that the New York Times named one of the world’s top five cities to visit, and the one where 30 people have been murdered so far this year.

Youth Radio explores how a shooting at First Fridays, Oakland's popular monthly street party puts its future in limbo.

Flickr user mk30

It’s the last day of February. That means tomorrow people will gather in the streets to celebrate arts and culture at Oakland Art Murmur’s public event, First Friday. The day carries extra weight this time around, because of what happened at the last First Friday. Things were going well until about ten minutes before 11pm, when a shooting resulted in one death and three injuries, and the incident shocked people who have been patronizing the event since its beginning seven years ago. 

Courtesy of EastBayExpress.com

For all everyone's been talking about the tragic shooting at First Friday, it's worth noting that there's still a lot we don't know. We can't yet tell the extent to which this was related to First Friday itself — that is, we don't, and may never, know whether something about the event's general melee facilitated this, or whether the suspect would have killed Campbell anywhere, and that intersection and that moment just happened to be the time and place.