Oakland Turf Dancing Gets More National Exposure

In just a matter of months, a video's gone from viral sensation to national call for action.

By Jamilah King Dec 06, 2010

By now, you’ve probably seen the video of a group of young black men turf dancing in the rain at an Oakland intersection. Produced by Bay Area-based YAK Films and thanks in part to a post on Oakland Scene, the video quickly went viral. It was moving for any number of reasons, but mostly because it took a local street dance phenomenon and put it into an emotionally gripping new context. And that context makes sense, since it was performed in tribute to one of the dancers’ older brothers, who died the previous night in a car accident at that same intersection.

Now the video’s gone from viral sensation to a national call to action. A recent Nightline report highlights how the video’s trying to change people’s perceptions of young people in Oakland. The clip features the dancers from Turf Feinz and organizers from Youth Uprising, a local advocacy group.

Thanks to SaraMurphy giving us the scoop.