Oakland Juneteenth Celebration Returns on June 27


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.


Dancers at Juneteenth, 2014

Festivities will also include a fashion show by Just Be Unique and a car show by the East Bay Chevs.

Entertainment will be provided by several music groups, including Avotcja, the OIMBC Gospel Choir, Peaceful Vibes, and Maestro Nola Curtis with the Jazz Hieroglyphics.

The celebration this year will feature tributes to The Black Arts Movement and Elaine Brown, formerly the chairperson of the Black Panther Party, for her continuing contributions to the community, among others.

The Spirit of Love Jazz Funkestra at the 2014 Juneteenth celebration

“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.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYVvG9xKh-0&w=480&h=360]

A photo album of the 2014 celebration is here.


Author Profile

Howard Dyckoff has lived in Oakland for over 40 years and has been involved with many community groups, including Oakland Digital and Oakland Local, Block by Block, the East Oakland Boxing Association (EOBA), and CBE. A Brooklyn, New York, transplant, and an Aerospace Engineering graduate of NY Polytechnic, Howard also attended Laney College, where he wrote for the Laney Tower newspaper and was elected editor. Howard also attended the Starr King School at the Theological Union in Berkeley.

He has served as the Berkeley Free Clinic’s Outreach Coordinator, and also worked as an information technology professional at Chevron, Sybase, and Wells Fargo. He worked in both the 2010 and 2020 Census. Howard has been a regular contributor to Oakland Local and online publications such as TechTarget and Linux Gazette and currently writes for Oakland Voices. He currently does event photography and portraiture around the Bay Area.

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