The celebration of Black independence took place all around the country and most of the world Friday, June 19th. Chocolate City was back and in full effect, every street was filled with black joy, workers and locals all came out to the streets when they heard the city’s soundtrack taking over. LongLiveGogo, Moechella, and DontMuteDC you saw posted on trucks hosting bands to perform throughout the city. We also saw others having parties and registering people to vote w1hile the bands provided a good time for everyone. Chocolate City was on a high, a protest, and a concert? It was a blessing to see our communities come together and continue the fight in the midst of celebration. This may have been the first Juneteenth we’ve celebrated as a whole community, this is only starting off a comeback of Chocolate City. We had a chance to speak to one of the organizers and founders behind LongLiveGoGo and Moechella, Yaddi, who has big plans for the community. He’s already restored the love for the culture and GoGo with Moechella so we asked him a few questions before things kicked off and the rain cut us short of the celebration.
When the ball started rolling things were looking to be ended quickly but even as we made our way to the destination the band kept playing through the rain. Everyone continued to dance with smiles on their faces, some had masks but I'm sure they were smiling as well, as the music grew louder and closer. The storm washed us out but we would later return to see the crowd has tripled in size, literally.
Rain gear, no rain gear, masked faces, smiling faces, extra background singers, and the cheering on of those dancing in the middle. This would carry block to block downtown, the band kept the crowd moving, there was laughter from the children, praises screamed into the skies, and this powerful feeling of love flooded the city. It was a proud moment for the culture and community.
Protests and celebrations all in one space, the world seemed to be ours for 24 hours. Backyard Band put on a show that had the whole block singing along every song. After a short powerful speech from Big G, Anwar Glover, the speakers shouted, “I love yall” and there was no doubt his city loved him back. That was the best thing I witness outside of the little kids and elders smiling uncontrollably but the speech Big G gave about us being “Powerful” during the moment of celebration was important. Our leaders are aware and powerful in their own rights, we must not forget the beauty this day has brought our community or the power we have as a community. Check out pictures, the interview with Yaddiya, & episode 2 of TouchTheCity for a recap of the day.
Link for photos: Gustavo Marinho