Juneteenth celebrations take over Los Angeles

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 to mark Juneteenth, the federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

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.

"Juneteenth: A Classical Music and Dance Festival" began at noon at the Lula Washington Dance Theater in the Crenshaw district. The festival includes music, dance and a reading of Gwendolyn Brooks' poem "Primer for Blacks."

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Culver City was conducting what it is billing as a "special event in celebration of Black music, spoken word and dance" from 1-6 p.m. at The Culver Steps with Aloe Blacc, Will Gittens, and the Benkadi African Drummers among the performers.

"Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom" at 4:30 p.m. at the Hollywood Bowl will feature performances by Khalid, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Roots, Chaka Khan, Lucky Daye, Robert Glasper, Billy Porter, Mary Mary, Anthony Hamilton, Michelle Williams, Mickey Guyton and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.

Thomas Wilkins and Derrick Hodge will lead the Re-Collective Orchestra, the first performance by an all-Black symphony orchestra in the Hollywood Bowl's 100-year history. Musical direction for the night will be provided by Adam Blackstone and Questlove.

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation's 50/50 Raffle for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Guardians at Dodger Stadium was dedicated to the California Funders for Boys & Men of Color Southern California.

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The organization describes itself as aligning the resources, networks and voices of California's foundations with the goal of improving opportunities for African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander and Native American boys and young men.

Juneteenth marks the anniversary of Union Army Gen. Gordon Granger reading General Order No. 3 in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, which began, "The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free," referring to Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln on Sept. 22, 1862, declaring all slaves free in Confederate territory.

Juneteenth became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.

U.S. post offices will be closed and mail will not be delivered on Monday.

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Because the federal bank reserve will be observing Juneteenth on Monday, most banks will be closed including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan. However, TD Bank will be closed Sunday, as is their normal schedule, and will be open Monday.

All federal offices and schools will be closed Monday.

"Juneteenth is a day to reflect on both bondage and freedom -- a day of both pain and purpose," Biden declared in his proclamation declaring Sunday as the Juneteenth Day of Observance. "It is, in equal measure, a remembrance of both the long, hard night of slavery and subjugation, as well as a celebration of the promise of a brighter morning to come.

"On Juneteenth, we remember our extraordinary capacity to heal, to hope, and to emerge from our worst moments as a stronger, freer, and more just nation. It is also a day to celebrate the power and resilience of Black Americans, who have endured generations of oppression in the ongoing journey toward equal justice, equal dignity, equal rights and equal opportunity in America."