Oakland's Uhuru Furniture store furnishing pride in Grand Lake community

Oakland's Uhuru Furniture store furnishing pride in Grand Lake community

OAKLAND -- Uhuru Furniture and Collectables' mission has been serving the Grand Lake community in Oakland for 33 years. The resale furniture store aims to put power in the hands of the community, furnishing change for certain communities.

"I can't tell you what this place has meant to me! Not only the mission, but the pieces you get here. I'm a staging designer," said Jacqueline Brown.

Brown has been a regular at Uhuru for 30 years, about as along as the shop as been open. She's been staging homes for sale says it's been her go-to place.

"The things that I have found here are just incredible," said Brown. "They're one-of-a-kind pieces."

Uhuru is aiming to bridge disparities by building economic development that is supported for and by the Black and African communities. Leaders say it represents a sector of Oakland that wants to see real change.

"Families, generations grew up coming to support something that they know has a stamp on it," said Uhuru Movement leader Bakari Olatunji.

He says customers are drawn to Uhuru knowing the shop is driven by self-determination for the Black community. It's something that draws Jada Webster here too.

"Great to have something be in this neighborhood for so long, especially as we see things closing down all around us," said Webster. "I was like wow this is some really good stuff. Then I looked closer at the prices and said oh my goodness! These are amazing prices!"

For the last five years Webster hasn't only shopped here, but she's also a volunteer. The store is run by furniture donations and Webster helps around when needed.

Brown has been rooted in a place where it's roots have run deep, holding the black community in place for 33 years.
"I could shop anywhere, but this is where home is," said Brown.

Uhuru Furniture is different than a charity thrift store because 100% of the profits benefit the African People's Education and Defense Fund.

Uhuru has stores in Philadelphia, St. Louis, Missouri, and St. Petersburg, Florida.

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