Angelenos are commemorating Juneteenth with events ranging from parades to art walks to live music performances. Most gatherings aim to tell a story about the significance of the nation’s newest federal holiday.
A parade in Inglewood, a classic music and dance festival in the Crenshaw district, a celebration in Culver City and concert at the Hollywood Bowl were being held Sunday.
The third annual Juneteenth Drive-Thru Parade started at 11:15 a.m. at Inglewood High School. The Los Angeles Rams served as the parade’s grand marshal with their cheerleaders and mascot Rampage leading the parade with the Vince Lombardi Trophy in hand. The Rams provided Rams-branded car flags to attendees.
A Freedom Fest with music, food vendors and games will run through 5 p.m. on Grevillea Avenue near Inglewood City Hall.
According to the Associated Press, Juneteenth commemorates the date when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. The proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863, declared free all enslaved people in Confederate states. Some of the newly freed weren’t aware of their freedom until U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger reached Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, to enforce the proclamation.
President Joe Biden signed legislation in 2021 making Juneteenth a national holiday. The move marked the first time the federal government had designated a new holiday since approving Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983, AP reported.