First Friday

About This Episode

On the first Friday of every month, thousands of people gather in the streets of downtown Oakland. Rich and poor, young and old, black and white, they all meet here. As the event grows, it becomes symbolically attached to the city’s larger cultural and economic renaissance. But after a teenager is murdered during the event, the future of First Fridays and the rebirth of Oakland itself is in peril.

The film follows six characters at First Friday just a month after the shooting. A councilwoman, entrepreneur, transgender teen, black resident, musician and two young professionals intersect at the event though looking for different things. Councilwoman Lynette wants to bridge the divide in her district between the longer time residents and recent transplants who are part of this redevelopment. First Friday provides a multi-layered snapshot of a fascinating American city while exploring issues of redevelopment, gentrification and violence that many other urban centers face.