Photo Credit: Clarke Sanders
How To Celebrate Juneteenth In Los Angeles This Weekend
June 19 is the California statewide acknowledged holiday, Juneteenth, which commemorates the freedom of African Americans prior to the year of 1863. After the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln who was pressured to make this decision to release the slaves of the South, Juneteenth became the official day of recognition and remembrance for the many Black slaves who were liberated from the Confederacy.
In Los Angeles, Juneteenth is becoming increasingly more celebrated each year and this year there are community events hosted in the more Black-populated neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
In Crenshaw, this is the first year that the UNIFest will be in operation, hosted by Watts activist and artist, Barrington Darius. The UNIFest 2021 will be located at 3820 Santa Rosalia Dr, Los Angeles. The Black-owned vendor space will support local Black entrepreneurs, artists, and businesses.
UNIFest runs from 12pm to 10pm and children are welcome to participate in the early afternoon wellness activities that include yoga and breathing exercises. The overall intention for the first installment of UNIFest is to provide a community healing event for Black residents to celebrate their ancestor’s resilience towards a brighter future of liberation and freedom. Through honoring Black history and art, the event will feature Black musicians and live performances for visitors to experience during their stroll within the open air market.
Another outdoor event organized by Black natives in Los Angeles is the Juneteenth Flea that will be held in Chesterfield Square near the Slauson Super Mall on Sunday. From 12pm to 6pm, the flea market, located at 2023 W Gage Ave., will feature Black vendors and businesses.
Hosted by Michy Milli, the monthly pop-up space uses a referral program to help circulate more wealth into Los Angeles’s Black community by compensating people who refer Black business-owners to fill up the limited vendor spaces at the popular flea market. To avoid overcrowding, families and friends can rsvp easily through the organizer’s email.
These Juneteenth events are meant to help provide more opportunities for lower-income families and Black residents who may have been directly impacted by the pandemic’s restrictive measures that forced many local beloved Black businesses to close down. Through mere word-of-mouth and community support, these open air markets will help improve the drastic economic losses experienced in Black communities overall.