Juneteenth block party highlights new mid city business development
BATON ROUGE - It was been a very busy day in the Capital Area, as people recognized the anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States.
Hundreds of people gathered at Millennial Park to mark Juneteenth 2020. The combination of music and food filled the air, all in the spirit of celebration and remembrance.
"Juneteenth is a day, but it represents a legacy, it represents history, it represents an oppressed people who need to be heard, and it represents that liberation,” Community activist Myra Richardson said.
Richardson is one of many people that helped make Friday’s festivities possible, bringing in food vendors from all over the Baton Rouge area.
"We have Straight Outta Scotland here, we have Royal Taste of Jamaica, we have Jive Turkey, we have Memphis Mac. I mean the list goes on and on. They're starting to overwhelm me I need a little bit of everything,” Myra Richardson said.
"To have this event here, it means so much because I wasn't even expecting it to be like this,” Cameron Jackson said.
Jackson is the owner and founder of Millennial Park, a small business park made up of shipping containers instead of normal brick and mortar store spaces. His family has owned the land off Florida Boulevard for some time, until recently, it had sat mostly empty.
"I went to Jamaica and I saw the idea with these shipping containers and kinda got the idea. I looked it up and saw it was in California and Austin, Texas and I said ‘why not bring something like this to baton rouge?’ Because they had nothing like this,” Cameron Jackson said.
It's only been here for eight months, but it's already creating a buzz around mid-city. Friday's Juneteenth celebration brought even more attention to the alternative business space.
"It means so much, especially with everything that's been going on. It's just really important that the black community be able to come together and just be able to feed off each other's energy and feel good,” Cameron Jackson said.
"I think this is the economic justice, this is the social justice this is all of those things wrapped into one. This opportunity to be able to support black businesses to support this young man and our youth is so so critically important because it's all of those things wrapped up holistically into one to say that we can move forward that we are the future that we've been waiting for and the time to seize it is right now,” Myra Richardson said.
Click here to see a list of Juneteenth celebrations happening around Baton Rouge on Saturday.