June 19 celebrations unite the African-American community in Los Angeles

June 16th celebrations take place across the country, as well as in Southland, and hundreds of people gather to have a good time, but also to reflect on the significance of the holiday.

One of the events that attracted a large mass of people was a celebration at Leimert Park.

“Juneteenth belongs to black people,” said UCLA student Eliza Franklin. “It’s our day and we should be able to celebrate it and be liberated and be as free and as black as we want, we deserve.”

June 16 is the day of the commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. The Leimert Park block party showcased the rich culture of the black community.

“Everything you see here is from Ghana and is handmade or hand-sewn,” said Dedra Dixon, owner of Ghana Connection.

Dixon said her collection is her way of connecting African culture through art and fashion with us here at home.

“I feel like more people need to know their culture as African Americans, we need to be more connected,” Dixon said.

Sunday’s events were partly a day of celebration, but also a time to reflect on the country’s tragic history.

“No matter the day, this is about raising awareness to awaken people to the injustices that have been implemented by the leaders of this planet,” said Baba Musolin, one of the visitors to Leimert Park. sunday.

“I’m 64 and I’ve seen a lot of changes, and I’m thrilled that everyone can be here to come together as one rather than individually, so it’s very special for me,” said said local pastor Keith Shepard.

For others, Juneteenth is just a formality and they hope to embody the spirit of what the day means in everyday life.

“Every day for me is Juneteenth,” said WL Jackson, co-owner of a business called Grandma’s Remedy.
“Juneteenth is just another day for us to really be around each other in a larger group and for us to take the time to come and share our gifts and lift each other up and motivate each other. others.”

For those like UCLA student Franklin, Sunday’s event gave him the opportunity to enjoy his heritage and his community without fear or anxiety.

“When I look around I feel good, you hear the drums and you feel it,” Franklin said. “It’s about being around black people and being in the element and not being watched for your hair or how you look or how you’re dressed and just being able to be in community with each other.”

While many events happened over the weekend, the federal holiday is recognized on Monday.

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