Juneteenth Celebrations Unite African-American Community in Los Angeles

There are hundreds of Juneteenth celebrations happening all across the country as well as in the Southland. People are coming together to celebrate the holiday and also reflect on its importance.

Leimert Park was one of the most popular events.

“Juneteenth belongs to Black people,”Eliza Franklin, a UCLA student. “This is our day and we should be able to celebrate it and be liberated and be as free and as Black as we want to be, we deserve it.”

Juneteenth is the date to remember the end of slavery in America. Leimert park’s block party highlighted the rich culture of Black communities.

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

Dixon explained that her collection is her way to bring together African culture through fashion and art with us back home.

“I feel like more people need to know about their culture as African-American, we need to be more connected,”Dixon stated.

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

“It doesn’t really matter the day, it’s all about what raises consciousness to awaken people to the injustices that have been implemented by those in charge on this planet,”Baba Musolin was one of those who visited Leimert Park on Sunday.

“I’m 64 years old and I’ve seen a lot of changes, and I’m excited that everyone can be here to reunite as one instead of individually, so it’s very special to me,”Keith Shepard, a pastor in the area.

Others view Juneteenth as a mere formality. They hope to live the spirit of the day every day.

“Every day for me is Juneteenth,”W.L. Jackson, co-owner of a business called Grandma’s Remedy.
“Juneteenth is just another day for us to actually be around each other in a larger group and for us to actually take the time off to come and share our gifts and uplift each other and motivate each other.”

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

“When I look around, I feel great, you hear the drums and you feel it,”Franklin said. “It’s something about being around Black people and being in the element and not being policed for your hair or how you look or how you’re dressed and just be able to be in community with one another.”

Although many events occurred over the weekend. The federal holiday is being observed on Monday.

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