San Bernardino Valley College Hosts Its First-Ever Juneteenth Celebration
Hundreds of people attended Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom, an event hosted by San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) and the Southern California Black Chamber, on Saturday, June 18.
Keynote speaker Dr. Daniel Walker, an internationally-recognized author, scholar, filmmaker, and public speaker, was featured during the family-friendly event.
San Bernardino Juneteenth Committee Chair Edwin Johnson said the committee’s goal was an event for all that teaches about the history of the event, but all brings people together.
“The event had a lot of diversity, and everyone who attended understood the true meaning of Juneteenth; many people joined in celebrating it,” Johnson said. “Several nonprofits and businesses on our committee wanted to see collaboration at its best in San Bernardino; through our efforts, we created a positive impact on thousands of people.”
The celebration included live performances, educational workshops, a pie-eating contest, dominoes, and card tournaments for grown-ups. It also featured a kids’ zone and a free skate clinic for kids sponsored by the American skateboard company Dirty Ghetto Kids (DGK).
Though celebrated by many Black communities throughout the United States for over a century, Juneteenth only became a federal holiday in 2021.
The holiday, held every June 19 (Juneteenth), commemorates the day in 1865 that the last enslaved people in the United States received news of their freedom, two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.