I.E. Juneteenth Events Draw Big Crowds
Over the weekend, a number of Juneteenth events were held throughout the Inland Empire. Events honoring Juneteenth were held in Palm Springs, Victorville, Riverside and San Bernardino. The Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce was involved with the Juneteenth events in Palm Springs, Victorville and the event hosted at San Bernardino Valley College in collaboration with the Juneteenth Committee.
This year’s Juneteenth celebration marks the second annual Juneteenth event held at San Bernardino Valley College. The event included over 100 vendors, activities for the kids, great entertainment for everyone to enjoy and great food.
“This was another great event. It was like a big family reunion,” said James Chapman. “It great to see our people come together and support one another,” he added.
Attendees had a great time mixing and mingling with people they haven’t seen in a
while. A number of local politicians took time out of their busy schedules to take part in the festivities. San Bernardino County 5th District Supervisor Joe Baca Jr. was on hand talking with people spending time with friends and enjoying some good food. Councilman Damon Alexander and his wife Felicia Alexander, a San Bernardino City Unified School District Board member, were also on hand to enjoy the Juneteenth celebration and support the local vendors. Gwen Rodgers, a San Bernardino County School Board member was seen mixing with the crowd and supporting the vendors as was State Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Reyes. In addition to the number of community servants that were in attendance, the celebration at San Bernardino Valley College was supported by a number of community leaders and stakeholders as well as the general public.
The festivities began with a libation ceremony led by Bronica Martindale and a song by Marla Matime. The event also included live entertainment throughout the day provided by Yaddida Page, Amore the Songstress, along with the Bromatics who performed a number of Motown classics.
The Juneteenth recognition also included an educational seminar facilitated by UC Riverside History Professor Natasha McPherson and Tanya Humphrey, Chair of the Black Women’s Leadership Forum. Dina Walker, founder of BLU Educational Foundation delivered a keynote address.
A number of local organizations were involved in making this Juneteenth event a success. In addition to the Juneteenth Committee and Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce, other groups involved include C.H.O.R.D.S., Sista’s Making a Difference, Young Visionaries, Lue Productions, San Bernardino Valley College, Inland Congregations United for Change, First 5 San Bernardino, Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and a number of other community groups.
The mission of the Juneteenth event is to raise awareness about the Juneteenth holiday and the emancipation of African Americans.