The perfect weather on Sunday drew thousands of people to Adeline Street to Berkeley’s Juneteenth Festival. They frolicked, ate, and listened to music – until it was time to rush to their television sets to watch the seventh heartbreaking final game between the Warriors and Cavaliers finals. Then the street grew noticeably emptier.
The main RD Bonds Main Stage, which showcases “the best of the African American experience: African drumming, jazz, blues, neo-soul, gospel, rhythm and blues, and reggae,” served as the heart of the festival. Dance, spoken word, and fashion graced the Lothario Lotho Stage. There were also food booths, historical displays, health screenings, and activities for children.
Juneteenth celebrates the day slaves in Galveston, Texas learned that they had been freed from slavery. President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863 but the Civil War had prevented news of the abolishment of slavery from reaching Texas for another two and half years. On June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived with the news that the war had ended. Many former slaves celebrated in the streets, forming the basis for the holiday.
Berkeleyside Contributing Photographer Nancy Rubin took these photos of the celebration.
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