Bowties is making a comeback not only with the elders and hipsters but also with the babies and kids. With the first day of school coming up parents want their babies to be dressed in their best. Enters Shima Sonson, owner of bowtie SonSon. She had a back to school event at Oakland Museum where she gave out free bowties to kids ages 3-8.
The kids had a great time with the bowties, even helping other kids placing them around their necks. The kids got a chance to get bowties for the first day of school. Shima states that she wants kids to be dressed nice for the first day of school, "I want this to be a tradition in the bay area."
For Sonson it is special for her because she has 9 brothers and nephews whom she holds in high regard. They were the inspiration for her bowties because she always wants her brothers and nephews to dress nice. That idea went from a family gift to now a black owned business that supports all nationalities.
On a Friday Night sits Donta Perry with his food station on the street getting ready to cook. He is going to cook some chicken and fries tonight. The chicken sauce is sriracha with a blend of hot sauce. In the back drop is the Fox Oakland building shining brightly because there was a show just a few hours ago. New customers come by and see his set-up. Older neighbors pull up, especially an older black man with a beastmode shirt on. An nostalgic conversation about black Oakland takes place while Donta cooks the meal.
For Donta Perry this is his opportunity to showcase his skills he got from the culinary academy in San Francisco. The skills that kept him out of the jail literally. “It was either prison or college at 17.” He choose the culinary school. The reason for the chose from having a “probation officer” while laughing. He is one of the fortunate ones as he cooks for a couple who are not from Oakland.
Donta Perry represents a wave of black men creating opportunity for themselves and not trying to be in the under shoe of another person. He states that he has all of his necessary paperwork to run his food service. He stated that he wanted to become his own man and went from doing this job part-time to being a full-time chef. Donta serves the couple and the old customer. For a minute the town felt right: black men serving his community with good food.