Baton Rouge residents celebrate Juneteenth
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge mayor’s office kicked off Saturday’s Juneteenth events with a unity fest at Galvez Plaza. Dozens of people came out Saturday morning, June 18, to enjoy music, food, and local artwork.
“Once I started producing stuff, I started saying, ‘This is good. This is really good Kareem’,” said Kareem Griffen, a local artist.
Kareem Griffen quit his job in 2019 to make art full-time. Griffen says his pieces come with something extra.
“There’s something we have called what? Soul and it can’t be duplicated,” said Griffen.
Around noon, the fun continued with the second annual Unity Caravan. This encouraged people to continue the celebrations at Gus Young Park.
“What we are doing is expanding the fabric of Juneteenth across the city and area of Baton Rouge,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.
The Unity Caravan honors the late civil rights activist Sadie Roberts-Joseph. Roberts-Joseph advocated for Juneteenth to be an official holiday.
“She would be ecstatic. She would be so happy to see everybody out here, encouraging them to have a great time because that’s what she would want us to be doing right now,” said Glen Ricks, Robert-Joseph’s sister.
Roberts-Joseph’s daughter, Angela Machen, watched her mother push for change. She says she is glad to see her mother’s hard work pay off.
“It’s just a culmination of many decades of work and many different individuals as well as groups,” said Machen.
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