VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WAVY) —Vibe District in Virginia Beach is always busy Saturday mornings as community members take a stroll past all the local vendors at the Old Beach Farmer’s Market.
This morning was special when it came to who was on the stage in celebration of Juneteenth; organizers partnered with the African American Culture Center.
“The reason we chose to partner with them today is not only because it’s Juneteenth and a celebration of Freedom, freedom of expression. But also, an opportunity to talk about how African roots have influenced what we commonly consider American Music,” said VB Cultural Programming and Grant Coordinator Hillary Plate.
Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States for the first time ever, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
Founder and chairman of the Virginia African American Culture Center, Dr. Amelia Ross-Hammond, introduced the acts but threw in some African American history along the way.
“This is not only African American stories, this is your story, this is America’s story. It’s time we impact and celebrate freedom,” said Hammond.
The event started with education and foot stomping tunes and ended with a Juneteenth proclamation from the Virginia Beach Mayor.
“In Virginia Beach, I call on all citizens to celebrate this day through educational and cultural experiences and to reflect on how far we’ve come, “ said Dyer in part.
Standing alongside him in support was Congresswoman Elaine Luria and City Councilman Michael Berlucchi.