Danny Glover (fourth from right) poses with Juneteenth Sponsors, from left to right: Luis Cancel, San Francisco Arts Commission, Jacques Pryor, KBLX, Susan Hinchman, Wells Fargo, Danny Glover, Maria Costen, KBLX, Dexter Woods, Juneteenth Executive Directer, Shelly Tatum, Shelly Tatum Presents.
By Wade Woods
On June 6th at the City Hall Rotunda an overflow crowd kicked off the Juneteenth season with the Mary Helen Rogers Community Reception. The quest speaker was actor Danny Glover, who in his speech laid down the circumstances surrounding the Haitian Revolution and the lead up to the emancipation of slavery in the United States. The Actor said the Slaves were the first Capital in this county and on those back this capitalist county was built.
Glover and other speakers called on young people to join the struggle that his generation had carried on from other generations. Glover said “ it was time for the mantel to be passed to a new generation, and they must be prepared to accept it and move on.” Glover also said that while there are many problems facing the African American Community, this can also be an exciting time if young people challenge the status quo, and pick up the challenge of change.
Rev. Arnold Townsend gave the welcome, and Bishop King gave the spiritual refection. Also on the stage was the New City College College Chancellor Dr. Don Griffin, Newly elected State Senator Mark Leno, and District 5 Supervisor Ross Markarimi. Rev. Amos Brown read a proclamation from the Mayor declaring June 21, Juneteenth Freedom Day. A great feast was arranged and catered by the Monte Carlo Club and restaurant.
The Juneteenth Festival which celebrates the ending of slavery in the United States begins this weekend with a comedy show on Friday night June 20th at the African American cultural Complex in the theater beginning at 7:30 PM and featuring some of the bay Area best comedians .
The Festival begin in earnest on June 21st and goes through Sunday June 22nd at San Francisco Civic Center Plaza. On Saturday the 21st there will be the annual parade, which will start at Scott and O’Farrell Streets and wind through the Fillmore district to Civic Center.
The festival will feature music, workshops, kiddy rides, food booths with mouth watering Bar.B.Q, arts and crafts booths and information booths from organizations all over San Francisco. Louis Garrett, President of the Juneteenth Festival Committee says that there is still time to get booths if you hurry.
For more information call the Juneteenth Office at (415) 931-2729 or go to www.sfjuneteenth.org