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Art + Soul Oakland returns with food, music and community

Updated: May 5, 2023

OAKLAND -- One of the East Bay's most popular free festivals made its return Saturday as Art + Soul Oakland celebrated its 20th anniversary after taking a pandemic pause.

Shauncy Jackson has memories of visiting Art + Soul as a festival attendee. This year, she made her debut as a vendor. It's called Oakland Don't Play -- a business that began as a hobby. She recently opened her first store in the Town.

"Oakland Don't Play essentially started off as a clothing line, for us to voice basically our stance. There was a lot of things going on with gentrification and discrimination and I wanted to find a way to say something about it," said owner Jackson. Jackson said her clothes give people a chance to show their Oakland pride.

"So this is a new drop: "Oakland don't play we skate." There's a big skate population in Oakland, and this is my way of paying homage. Just real Oakland," she said.

By day, Jackson works as a technical program manager at Salesforce. In her off time, she pours her passion into Oakland Don't Play.

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