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West Sacramento Sun

Celebrate Juneteenth in West Sacramento

Jun 04, 2024 09:31AM ● By Mitch Barber
River City Black Student Union advisors and members receive the Black History Month Proclamation in January 2024. Mayor Martha Guerrero stands fourth from left with city council members present, as well. Photo courtesy of River City Black Student Union

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - While Juneteenth is officially June 19, there will be plenty to celebrate in West Sacramento on Friday, June 14, at the second annual Juneteenth Celebration taking place at Bridgeway Lakes Community Park from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

What exactly does the Juneteenth federal holiday, the first new federal holiday since the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday was established four decades ago, celebrate? Robert Crawford, former River City High School teacher and Howard University graduate, said this regarding the special date: “It’s a celebration of the emancipation proclamation and that news reaching the slaves throughout the South, including those in Texas.”

The West Sacramento event will be assisted by the River City Black Student Union. Morgan Burton is the group’s co-advisor and the junior class advisor at River City High School. When asked why somebody should be a part of the festivities, she said, “Juneteenth festivities amplify awareness of ongoing social justice battles, promoting solidarity in the fight against oppression. These events provide platforms for education, dialogue, and reflection, promoting empathy and social cohesion. Attending a Juneteenth celebration is a powerful act of solidarity, affirming commitment to equality, justice, and the pursuit of freedom for all.”

Patrice Griffith, Burton’s advising partner, added that the Black Student Union is kicking off a campaign at the Juneteenth celebration, “No Room for Hate,” with the full support of River City High School, the Washington Unified School District board of trustees and the City of West Sacramento. Griffith said they will hand out information, signs and swag “highlighting the importance (that) this city has no room for hate.” She added, “We look forward to spreading this message and working to make our city as inclusive as it is diverse.”

West Sacramento public information officer Paul Hosley said there will be performances by the River City High School hip-hop dance team and rapper/s, the Sacramento River Cats Cat Crew/Street Team, the River City High School football team, and spoken word performers at West Sacramento’s Juneteenth Celebration. He also said that Mayor Martha Guerrero and City Council members will make a proclamation as part of the celebration. For those of all ages, he pointed out that there is a splash pad at the park where children can get wet on a day that is likely to be toasty.

Hosley summed the day up with this: “Join us in celebrating Juneteenth in West Sacramento with an unforgettable evening of community and culture! Enjoy live music, delicious food truck meals…This family event is a wonderful opportunity to honor freedom, unity, and our vibrant community spirit.”

 River City student and BSU Club Treasurer Kailani G., left, stands with River City BSU Co-Advisor Patrice Griffith. Both are helping plan the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration with the City of West Sacramento. Photo courtesy of River City Black Student Union

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