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At the BET Awards, Civil Rights Weighed Just as Heavily as Any Note

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Kendrick Lamar performs at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Kendrick Lamar performs at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Soraya Nadia McDonald, THE WASHINGTON POST

 

 

LOS ANGELES (The Washington Post) — You could argue that the BET Awards are political by their very existence, as they serve to honor artists whose work may otherwise go under-appreciated or unrecognized by mainstream organizations.

Naming Kendrick Lamar, the man who lost the Grammy for best rap album to Macklemore, this year’s best male hip-hop artist was not just reaffirming of a sentiment that even Macklemore claimed to have held — that Lamar should have beaten him — but an exercise in self-love that the BET Awards have come to stand for.

For black talent that gets overlooked at the American Music Awards or the Grammys or the Billboard Awards, the BET Awards, flawed though they may be (BET chief executive Debra Lee seems to have made keeping Chris Brown’s career afloat her own personal pet cause), offer recognition and validation.

But this year, the tenor of awards were even more political than usual, thanks to the recent events in Charleston, S.C. and marches across the country protesting the killing of unarmed black citizens.

 

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Oakland Post: Week of July 10 – 16, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of July 10 – 16, 2024

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To enlarge your view of this issue, use the slider, magnifying glass icon or full page icon in the lower right corner of the browser window.

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Arts and Culture

Marin City Juneteenth Festival Celebrates Unity in the Community

Marin City celebrated the Eighth Annual Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 22, at the Rocky Graham Park. This year’s theme was Umoja, which means Unity in our community. This year, the festival organizers distributed a program flyer that acknowledged and appreciated the 40+ hardworking vendors who brought “art, treasures, service, and culinary delights to our International African Marketplace” and the friends and supporters of the Juneteenth Festival.

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From top left: Ain Ashby and Mariah Ashby at the Happy Juneteenth booth, Cynthia Williams at the Center for Domestic Peace booth, Sarah Turner, Anne Deverb, and Nancy Miller at the Come to The Table booth, Tony Swan and June Farmer at the Marin County Flood Control booth, Desirae Rogeb, Yero Massamba, and Ngona Badila at the O Greena-Ancient Remedies booth, People dancing, ChaintiAna Thomas, The Juneteenth Festival stage. Photos by Godfrey Lee.
From top left: Ain Ashby and Mariah Ashby at the Happy Juneteenth booth, Cynthia Williams at the Center for Domestic Peace booth, Sarah Turner, Anne Deverb, and Nancy Miller at the Come to The Table booth, Tony Swan and June Farmer at the Marin County Flood Control booth, Desirae Rogeb, Yero Massamba, and Ngona Badila at the O Greena-Ancient Remedies booth, People dancing, ChaintiAna Thomas, The Juneteenth Festival stage. Photos by Godfrey Lee.

By Godfrey Lee

Marin City celebrated the Eighth Annual Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 22, at the Rocky Graham Park. This year’s theme was Umoja, which means Unity in our community.

This year, the festival organizers distributed a program flyer that acknowledged and appreciated the 40+ hardworking vendors who brought “art, treasures, service, and culinary delights to our International African Marketplace” and the friends and supporters of the Juneteenth Festival.

The back of the flyer says that the program “only accepts sponsorship from organizations, municipalities and individuals aligned with our values of peace, liberation, justice, and healing of the mind, body and spirit.”

Here are the many vendors listed in the program by category:

  • Art, Craft, Clothing

Alecia’s Sweets & Gifts, Atrenia’s Treasures, Magi’s Treasures, Tiffany’s Trendy Treasures, Senegalese Art & Waist Beads Fittings, Superior Boutique, Black Anime Art, Eunice’s Unique Creations, Wise Choices, Belle Noire Accessories, Kimani’s Gifts from Kenya, T-Shirts by Jade, Ms. Cynthia’s Ice Box Magnets, Art/Designed Fashion by Malaak and Ain’s Sweets & T-Shirts, Lumpen Proletariat Digital Gallery, MC Arts Gallery,

  • Food, Snacks, Deserts

Nestor’s Jive Turkey Legs, “Dis Nice’ Jamaican Food, “Delightful Foods” Pies/Cookies/Fresh Juices, Akoma Cameroonian Coffee & Gifts, Abhimanyu’s Vegetarian for Life, Clark’s Lemonade, Eats & Treats by Hope Housing, Ms. Clotile’s Fried Fish & Fries, Bryant Family Gumbo, Bakery and Juices, Ms. Eboni’s Sugar Shack, Roadside Soul BBQ, The Red Truck, Lily’s Burgers, Links & Sides, Mr. Leshawn’s Shrimp and Grits,

  • Wellness and Activities

Play Marin, FMBC Mental Health Advocates, Prayer Booth with Steve and Alesia, “Spyfro Man,” French Tutoring by Jean Pierre, Orianna’s Books, O’Green Natural Cleaning, Face Painting by Ayanna, Marin City Wellness Clinic/First Aid Booth, Marin Health Team’s Smoothie Bike, Performance Art by Olubori, Deep Healing Massage by Gio, and Horse Rides with Jaymo.

  • Community Advocates

Marin City CSD, DWP Flood Project Marin City, Marin City Climate Justice, Center for Domestic Peace, Friends of Golden Gate Village, Marin City Library, Marin City Climate Justice, County of Marin, the Marin Community Foundation, the City of Sausalito, the Marin City Community Services District, MC Art and Culture, Showing Up for Racial Justice, and MCE – Empowering Our Clean Energy Future.

The good Business Neighbors were the Good Earth Natural Foods in Mill Valley, the Marin City Community Development Corporation (MCCDC), Marin City Cornerstone Church, and the First Missionary Baptist Church.

And finally, the program acknowledged the generous friends of the festival: Ricardo Moncrief, Doreen Gounard, Malachia Hoover, Darryl Bozeman, Federico Cortez (owner of “Paws Palace” at the Gateway Mall), Maria Banas, Joan Smith, Kalicia Pivirotto, Jessica Lundy, and the SURJ Marin Volunteers.

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Arts and Culture

Hundreds of Revelers Cheer Parade, Join Fun at Juneteenth Festival in Nicholl Park

A bright sun greeted one of Richmond’s most important community gatherings on June 22: the annual Juneteenth Parade and Festival. Hundreds of people greeted the lengthy parade that began at Kennedy High School, passed under the recently-created Juneteenth Freedom Underpass Mural on 37th Street, and continued on to Nicholl Park, where a colorful festival took place through the afternoon.

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A marching band followed the parade route from Kennedy High School to Nicholl Park. Photos by Mike Aldax and Mike Kinney.
A marching band followed the parade route from Kennedy High School to Nicholl Park. Photos by Mike Aldax and Mike Kinney.

By Mike Aldax, Mike Kinney and
Kathy Chouteau
The Richmond Standard

A bright sun greeted one of Richmond’s most important community gatherings on June 22: the annual Juneteenth Parade and Festival.

Hundreds of people greeted the lengthy parade that began at Kennedy High School, passed under the recently-created Juneteenth Freedom Underpass Mural on 37th Street, and continued on to Nicholl Park, where a colorful festival took place through the afternoon.

Michelle Milam, crime prevention manager for the City of Richmond and an organizer, said the parade boasted 70 entries and the festival had 117 booths staffed with community organizations, businesses, and resources. Soul food was being served by a number of popular local eateries such as CJ’s BBQ & Fish, Snapper Seafood and Cousins Maine Lobster.

The annual event is supported via a partnership between the N.B.A., City of Richmond and Chevron.

The Standard asked dozens of community members at this event what Juneteenth means to them.

“It is a celebration of freedom,” said AJ Jelani, president of the Belding Woods Neighborhood Council.

Jelani founded the nonprofit organization A.J./Sealcraft, which honors African American individuals, organizations, groups, and businesses who contributed to empowering fellow African Americans to improve their communities.

“Juneteenth is a recognition of our culture, our history,” he said. “Our unique past was a functionality of the community. It brought us together.”

Richmond resident Gloria Wilson added, “Juneteenth is a day to remember our ancestors’ struggles for our freedom.”

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia told us the celebration is “about our community coming together.”

“It’s about recognizing the struggles that it has taken up until now, and that there is still work ahead to achieve true equity and equality,” Gioia said.

Gioia noted Richmond is unique for having had an annual Juneteenth parade and festival years before Juneteenth was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021.

“Richmond has had a great history of winning struggles,” Gioia said. “It is important for us to continue that work.”

“We all have the responsibility to uplift and celebrate how people persevered and continue to persevere in the face of challenge.”

Gioia said that is why the County has an Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice.

“I was just talking to the school board and superintendent about the work we’re doing, and the superintendent was talking about their equity plan for the school district, so it all comes together,” Gioia said. “Agencies working together.”

Richmond City Councilmember Doria Robinson, who helped carry the City Council banner in the parade alongside some of her Council colleagues, said Juneteenth is a celebration of perseverance.

“It’s the day where everyone…can reflect on what happened with slavery and can realize that we all carry that burden,” Robinson said, “and that we all have the responsibility to uplift and celebrate how people persevered, and continue to persevere in the face of challenge.”

Added Councilmember Cesar Zepeda, “Richmond has been at the forefront of making sure that our community is aware of Juneteenth. And just more recently, people are finding out about Juneteenth and celebrating it in their cities. Once again Richmond is at the forefront.”

Fast on the heels of Juneteenth, Richmond will get a jump on Independence Day by celebrating along the waterfront Wednesday, July 3.

The City of Richmond will celebrate the “3rd of July Fireworks & Celebration” July 3 from 5-10 p.m. at Marina Bay Park. The fireworks will start at 9:15 p.m., with the show lasting approximately 20 minutes. Along with the fireworks, festivities will include live music, a selection of food choices and an interactive Fun Zone for the kids. Marina Bay Park is located at Marina Bay & Regatta Blvd. in Richmond.

Also on Wednesday, July 3, “Fireworks at the Point at Riggers Loft Wine Company” will take place from 6-10 p.m. Andre Thierry, a.k.a. “the Zydeco king,” will entertain the crowd while they enjoy a choice of cuisine from five food tents prepared by Chef Frank Miller.

Games, wine, cider, and sodas will also be part of the mix. At 9:15 p.m., the venue—and its bayside patio—are perfectly poised to take in the City of Richmond’s fireworks show, for which beach chairs and blankets are suggested.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for those under 21 and free for kids 5 and under. Purchase tickets here and find Riggers Loft at 1325 Canal Blvd. in Richmond.

For those heading to San Francisco on the Fourth of July, the city’s fireworks are set off via two locations in front of Fisherman’s Wharf: The end of Municipal Pier and barges in front of Pier 39. Transit options from Richmond to San Francisco include the San Francisco Bay Ferry, which will operate on a weekend schedule from Thursday, July 4, through Sunday, July 7—learn more https://sanfranciscobayferry.com/holiday-ferry-schedule

BART will run a Sunday schedule (8 a.m. until midnight) on Independence Day— go to https://www.bart.gov/guide/holidaysfor more information. And visit AC Transit for info on catching a bus.

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