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Black Arts Los Angeles Presents Sixth Annual Juneteenth Festival

onochieLOS ANGELES, CA– Black Arts Los Angeles (BALA), in collaboration with Kingdom Day Parade organizer and Chairman of CORE-CA Adrian Dove, will hold the sixth annual Juneteenth Festival “Celebrating 150 Years of Black Lives That Matter,” on June 20 and June 21 in Leimert Park Village from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The two-day celebration will highlight the history of Juneteenth, the nationally recognized holiday that commemorates the 1865 Emancipation of enslaved African Americans.      This year’s Juneteenth celebrates a very special milestone. It has been exactly 150 years since the emancipation of the last formally enslaved Africans in America.

The Juneteenth Festival will bring the surrounding community together for food, entertainment, health screenings, and unique shopping experiences. Activities include chess and dominoes lessons and tournaments, a fashion line recreating the fashions between 1863 and 1868, face painting, magic experiences and more! Various retailers will be on hand to provide festival-goers the opportunity to buy the perfect graduation and/or Father’s Day gift!

Guests will include The South African Consul-General, Hon. Cyril Ndaba, who will be giving remembrance of the Soweto Students Massacre. There will also be a Black Inventors and Juneteenth History tent presented by the Office of Los Angeles District 10 Council President Herb Wesson. Urban TechFair guru Jim Neusom, the man responsible for bringing wi-fi to Leimert Park, will also be honored at the festival. This year, Charles Drew Medical, UCLA, UMMA Clinic and Covered California will also provide free diabetes, blood pressure, and other health screenings in Health Ark in the Park.

The Juneteenth Festival in Leimert Park has grown to be a significant cultural festivity, garnering thousands of celebrants in previous years. The festival provides a platform for those in the community with an appreciation for arts, fashion, food and music. The festival is being sponsored by natural resources company, Freeport-McMoRan.

The celebration will take place in Leimert Park Village Vision Theater Back Lot on Degnan and 43rd Street. Admission is free to the public and open to all ages.

 

It’s Coming Back to Cali!

Warriors 2015 NBA Champs

Warriors win NBA Finals in character, being themselves, EXPLOSIVE!

By Johnni Matthews

The scene at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio after Game 6 of the NBA Finals was a somber one for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ fans as they watched the Golden State Warriors celebrate and hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy on their court.  The Warriors outlasted the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 to win the series 4-2.  It is the first championship for the Warriors since the 1975 Warriors team led by under hand free throw player and sharp shooter, Rick Barry accomplished the goal against the Washington Bullets led by Wes Unseld.

Forget the statistics on this game, just know that Stephen Curry, Finals MVP, Andre Iguodala, splash brother, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Shawn Livingston and the rest of the team were focused, on point outstanding in their road to this NBA Championship!

For the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron was LeBron simply GREAT, but fatigued, J.R. Smith showed up with some timely three pointers, Triston Thompson making his presence felt on the boards, but Matthew Dellavedova was spent out of energy forcing Coach Blatt to play Shumpert on Curry most of the game as he did in Game 5.  The Cavaliers simply couldn’t match the energy, speed and depth of the Warriors without a healthy Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.  NBA fans will never know if having the two All-Stars on the court with LeBron James would have helped the King crown the city of Cleveland with their first NBA Championship!

NBA Rookie Coach, Steve Kerr made all the significant adjustments to out coach Cleveland’s Head Coach, David Blatt who stuck to a short rotation, never playing former NBA Champion and All-Star Shawn Marion who announced his retirement after the conclusion of this season.

What a night to remember for all Warriors’ fans and the Cleveland Cavaliers as the Cavs found themselves out of gas!  It was evident by Game 4 that several players on the Cavaliers squad was just simply out of gas, but still continued to play scrappy enough to murk up the game to give themselves a chance to win.  It was simply too much of the Golden State Warriors being themselves, running, bagging threes from all over the perimeter, and playing just enough tough defense to capture the beautiful gold Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.

The jingle by a famous rap/actor artist, “I’m going back to Cali, Cali, Cali…I’m going back to Cali, Cali…Well the NBA Championship Trophy is coming back to Cali, a state where Mr. Larry O’Brien feels right at HOME!

 

Love: A Father’s Legacy

black-fatherBy Ruth L. Stevens

The words I was hearing rang familiar, I listened in awe: The words were flowing, he was saying, “I was so confused, my life seemed to have turned upside down. Where could I turn for direction? To Daddy! I had to see him! He could make things right for me”. Arriving home, I packed a few things and got into my car for the eight hundred mile drive. I drove all night and when I arrived home the following morning, mother met me at the door. She did not know I was coming and was clearly surprised. Almost at once I asked, “Where is he Daddy?” She said, “He is over in the back field doing some planting”. I headed for the back, he saw me coming and headed toward me and instantly I knew he would know the solution! (This was brother Bo-Jay).

On another occasion, I heard words from another’s voice saying, “I could do anything if he were there”. “I remember him teaching us boys to dive, and he would say ‘Jump’ and I would sail through the air like a bird without fear or doubt because I knew there was no way anything could happen to me with him there”. (Brother Ruben we call Jabow).

He fathered twelve children and he has twelve separate rooms in his heart. Each child left a love so deep and binding that he/she thought, “I am the special one”.

Only once did I see him in real pain, when he lost his first-born son John Charley! He was like the old oak tree with all its leaves stripped from it, standing stark and bare against a stark and cold sky. He dwelled in a space only the two of them could shard! HIS GRIEF WAS SO INWARD NO ONE DARED TRESPASS! The only time I can remember him leaving us totally!

Then one day the word came, someone saying to me, “Ruth, I have to tell you something, be strong, your father has made his transition”. I could not contemplate it. No! No! I felt myself falling, it seemed into a dark bottomless pit of nothingness—I hear another voice speaking, “I had only two friends and Daddy was number one. I look out the kitchen window and I see him and he’s gone”. (Brother T. Warren G.). The voices go on and on, all eleven of them. “Daddy said this, Daddy said that. Daddy did this, Daddy did that”. Every experience uniquely different, yet so similar.

I hear his voice early mornings, “Baby Ruth, rise and shine, the early bird gets the worm”. The joy in his voice, the sparkles in his eyes watching a new day break forth. I certainly thought I was his favorite, the special one of his brood that is until I started to listen.

My buddy, my buddy, so kind and true, My buddy, your buddy misses you.

Oh, mine papa, you were so wonderful. Oh mine papa, you were so grand!