'BBQing While Black': Oakland community gathers against racial injustice

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of East Bay neighbors gathered in Oakland Sunday to turn a negative into a positive more than a year after the so-called "Barbecue Becky" incident.

Organizers hope the event will help many move forward and also helping to build a better Bay Area.

"We know how to make beauty out of something that was disgusting," said Oakland Resident Akua Rose.

RELATED: 'BBQing While Black' is coming back to Lake Merritt
This event called, "BQQing While Black," is a nod to a troubling incident.

Cell phone video went viral last year when a woman nicknamed "Barbeque Becky" called Oakland Police on two black men barbecuing by the lake in an area where it was not allowed.

"This young lady came by and got irate with me that I was illegally barbecuing in the park with charcoal," said Onsayo Abram.



Onsayo Abram moved forward after the incident by helping friends organize and raise money to hold this event.

"I made a positive out of a negative," said Abram.
It comes just days after President Trump suggested that four democratic members of congress should go back to the countries where they came from.

The president tweeted on Sunday, "I don't believe the four congresswomen are capable of loving our country."

RELATED: Public 'BBQing While Black' event held at Oakland's Lake Merritt

Many at this today's event, say the president's words are not helping them bridge racial divides.

"I don't agree with the narrative, I don't think it's bringing the country together," said Jamelia Pugh from Oakland.

When the incident happened last year, charcoal grills were not allowed in that area of Lake Merritt. Since then the city has installed hot ash disposal units.
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