Los Angeles County will have celebrations throughout Saturday to mark Juneteenth, the federal holiday commemorating the date of the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring all slaves free in Confederate territory on Sept. 22, 1862, but the news took time to travel. June 19, 1865, is the date when word of the proclamation reached African Americans in Texas.
The Pacoima edition of “Opal’s Walk for Freedom” began at 8 a.m. at the Alicia Broadous Duncan Multipurpose Center. The 2.5-mile walk honors the 2.5 years it took to inform the enslaved people of Texas of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Similar walks were held throughout the nation, simultaneously with Opal Lee’s Walk for Freedom in Fort Worth, Texas, which began at 10 a.m. Central Daylight Time.
Lee, now 95, campaigned for decades to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, a quest that came to fruition on June 17, 2021 when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, with Lee in attendance for the signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection activities includes “The Myth of Absence” presentation at 12:30 p.m. by Bernard Kinsey, the philanthropist and entrepreneur who founded the collection, and a panel discussion at 2:30 p.m. with African American women in film and television.
Local Black-owned and women-owned businesses will be onsite to showcase their products and services. There will also be a hiring fair with booths advertising employment opportunities for Hollywood Park and workforce partners.
The Hollywood Park entertainment complex in Inglewood will host its second annual Summer Bash from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The celebration will focus on health and wellness, arts and culture, financial empowerment and its Kids Zone. Admission is free.
The Zwandi Cultural Collective will conduct its fifth annual Juneteenth Community Celebration from 1-6 p.m. at Woodley Park in Van Nuys. The celebration will feature games, raffles, speakers, an essay scholarship program and what organizers are billing as a “Kidpreneur Korner.”
The Kids Zone will include activities such as rock climbing and obstacle courses.
The event will also feature health screenings and a blood drive.
The second annual Watts Juneteenth Street Fair will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Success Avenue, between Century Boulevard and 103rd Street. The fair will include live music, street art, retail shops, food vendors and giveaways, including Super Bowl LVI rally towels provided by the Los Angeles Rams.
The inaugural “Taste of Compton” celebration will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Neighborhood Housing Services Center for Sustainable Communities at 1051 Rosecrans Ave. It will include arts and crafts, live music, housing and small business workshops, games for children, food trucks, blood pressure screenings, COVID-19 vaccinations and distribution of vouchers for free eye care.
Celebrations will also be held from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Park in Sun Village; 1-6 p.m. at Dalton Park in Azusa and 4-6 p.m. at the Earvin “Magic” Johnson Recreation Area in Willowbrook.
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