It’s time again for West Oakland’s annual Juneteenth Celebration. Presented this year by the B-H Brilliant Minds Project, the festivities will held on June 27th, 11 AM to 6 PM, at 3233 Market St.
This is a family-friendly event with games, pony rides, and face-painting for kids. There will also be a youth Spoken Word showcase sponsored by Downtown TAY, which works with transitional aged youth.
Last year’s celebration had live jazz and dance on tap, plus health screenings and a food truck serving ribs to those visiting health booths sponsored by agencies such as the Black Nurses Association and the California [Organ] Donor Transplant Network. Organizers say the same type of entertainment and service will be available this year.
Festivities will also include a fashion show by Just Be Unique and a car show by the East Bay Chevs.
“The Oakland Juneteenth festival is in it’s eighth year, and is a time to honor African American culture and traditions,” said Renee Geesler of the Akonadi Foundation, “as well as celebrate diversity and the rich legacy and history of Black communities here in Oakland.”
The Akonadi Foundation supports the Brilliant Minds Project through its Beloved Community Fund, “This fund supports grassroots art and cultural events dedicated to lifting up communities of color in Oakland,” Geesler said.
The origin of Juneteenth goes back to an event after the end of the Civil War. In Galveston, Texas, Union soldiers arrived on June 19, 1865 announcing the end of the war and the end of slavery. This was almost two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It was the last bastion of slavery in the South.
A YouTube video with clips of the 2014 celebration is here.
A photo album of the 2014 celebration is here.