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East County News Service

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May 31, 2022 (La Mesa) -- Promoting a celebration of life, liberty and community, La Mesa Juneteenth and Friends announce their first annual Juneteenth Celebration to be held on Sunday, June 19, 2022, from noon until 4:00 p.m. at MacArthur Park, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day or Emancipation Day, is a day to honor and celebrate liberation. It was 156 years ago, on June 19, 1865 that all Americans became free from slavery, an event finally taking place two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued by President Lincoln. Today, the holiday is about celebrating Black Culture, history and life, bringing people together to honor all those who came before and who fought for the rights and privileges held today.

"As La Mesa is rich in diversity, our inaugural celebration will also highlight other ethnic groups as well. Everyone is invited to celebrate!" said Allan Durden, the Celebration's spokesperson. "The event will include food, music and entertainment, including the MLK Choir and step show dance groups. We'll also have a lot of fun for families including crafts and a bounce house with slide. But perhaps most importantly, our guests will be treated to hearing from SDSU professor, Avery Caldwell, who will enlighten us with a complete historical perspective of Juneteenth." Durden added.

Also on the program to present pieces of Juneteenth history will be Helix Charter High School head football coach, Damaja Jones and Dr. Thekima Mayasa, professor of Black Studies and Department Chair at Mesa College.

An additional feature of the Juneteenth Celebration will be the participation of various community vendors offering such items as food, jewelry, art, books and community services. For more information, visit the La Mesa Juneteenth & Friends website at lamesajuneteenthandfriends.com.

For additional information, contact Allan Durden at (619) 889-6417 or durden765@gmail.com.


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