Long Beach celebrates Juneteenth with 2nd annual festival – Press Telegram
Jazz and R&B echoed along the Long Beach waterfront, a stepshow echoed through the floor of Rainbow Lagoon Park, and the aroma of chicken and waffles, Cajun cuisine and other dishes wafted through Ocean air.
And an interactive display was visible for people to learn about the history of the black experience in America.
It was all part of the second annual Long Beach Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18.
The one-day event, which sold out, featured live music, including jazz and R&B, as well as a performance by the Antioch Mass Gospel Choir. The black fraternities and sororities of Cal State Long Beach put on a show. And there were activities for kids, too, supported by the YMCA of Greater Long Beach.
The Long Beach celebration, which began in 2021, is among several other events that have sprung up regionally and nationally in recent years to commemorate the last enslaved people in the United States who learned of their freedom two years after proclamation. of emancipation.
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War was over and all slaves were free.
Juneteenth has been an important holiday for many in the black community for generations, but only recently has it gained more widespread recognition alongside public conversations about systemic racism.
Saturday festival-goers also had the opportunity to visit an interactive exhibit of historical artifacts by Forgotten Images, a black history museum, to “learn more about the black experience in America and the origins of Juneteenth.” , according to a press release last month. .