• The Dorsey High School Drum and Drill Team performs at Long Beach’s annual June 19th celebration at Rainbow Lagoon Park on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Carl Kemp speaks at the annual Long Beach June 19 celebration in...

    Carl Kemp speaks at Long Beach’s annual June 19th celebration at Rainbow Lagoon Park on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Dembrebrah Drum and Dance Ensemble performs during the Long Beach concert...

    The Dembrebrah Drum and Dance Ensemble performs at Long Beach’s annual June 19 celebration at Rainbow Lagoon Park on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Dembrebrah Drum and Dance Ensemble performs during the Long Beach concert...

    The Dembrebrah Drum and Dance Ensemble performs at Long Beach’s annual June 19 celebration at Rainbow Lagoon Park on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cyrus Payne sings the black national anthem during the Long Beach concert...

    Cyrus Payne sings the Black National Anthem during Long Beach’s annual June 19 celebration at Rainbow Lagoon Park on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Long Beach Antioch Church Mass Choir performs during...

    The Church of Antioch Mass Choir of Long Beach performs during the annual June 19 celebration at Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Long Beach Antioch Church Mass Choir performs during...

    The Church of Antioch Mass Choir of Long Beach performs during the annual June 19 celebration at Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Dorsey High School Drum and Drill Team perform during...

    The Dorsey High School Drum and Drill Team performs at Long Beach’s annual June 19th celebration at Rainbow Lagoon Park on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left to right, Carl Kemp and Aundrae Russell raise their fists...

    From left, Carl Kemp and Aundrae Russell raise their fists during the playing of the Black National Anthem at the annual June 19th celebration in Long Beach on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Dembrebrah Drum and Dance Ensemble performs during the Long Beach concert...

    The Dembrebrah Drum and Dance Ensemble performs at Long Beach’s annual June 19 celebration at Rainbow Lagoon Park on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

Jazz and R&B echoed off the Long Beach waterfront, a spectacle echoed off the floor of Rainbow Lagoon Park, and the aroma of chicken and waffles, Cajun cuisine and other foods floated in the sea air.

And an interactive display was visible for people to learn about the history of the black experience in America.

It was all part of the second annual Long Beach Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18.

The one-day event, which sold out, featured live music, including jazz and R&B, as well as a performance by the Antioch Mass Gospel Choir. The black fraternities and sororities of Cal State Long Beach put on a show. And there were activities for kids, too, supported by the YMCA of Greater Long Beach.

The Long Beach celebration, which began in 2021, is among several other events that have sprung up regionally and nationally in recent years to commemorate the last enslaved people in the United States who learned of their freedom two years after proclamation. of emancipation.

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War was over and all slaves were free.

Juneteenth has been an important holiday for many in the black community for generations, but only recently has it gained more widespread recognition alongside public conversations about systemic racism.

Saturday’s festival-goers also had the opportunity to visit an interactive exhibit of historical artifacts by Forgotten Images, a black history museum, to “learn more about the black experience in America and the origins of Juneteenth.” , according to a press release last month. .

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