JUNETEENTH 2006 (6/26/06)
I attended the Fillmore Juneteenth Festival held June 17 and June 18, 2006. This was the 56th Annual Juneteenth "Freedom Day" Celebration and the theme of this year's celebration was "Love and Happiness is the Theme and Peace is the Dream".
For those that may not know Juneteenth was first celebrated in Texas by African American that found out two and half years after President Lincoln Emancipation Proclamation - January 1, 1863 that all slaves were free.
Historians will dispute if Juneteenth was indeed the oldest celebration that brings African Americans together but I know for a fact smaller celebrations have been held long before 1863 and soon after the American Civil War.
In San Francisco and more the Fillmore Juneteenth brings many families to rejoice and some will take advantage of these two days of celebration to have family reunions. Others meet and rejoice with friends at the Juneteenth Festival.
Over the long 56 years I know for a fact that many African American soldiers at the Presidio of San Francisco would attend the Juneteenth Festival.
In the late 40s and early 50s the Jazz fever from the neighboring Fillmore District brought throngs of folks out for a good time. There was good music and very good African American cuisine that could be had cheap.
Over the years the African American population in San Francisco has dwindled and now some say about 6% of San Francisco's population that is about 780,000 is African American. At one time this figure was in the high 20s but so much for gentrification and the other subtle adverse impacts that go with it. Paradoxically I was there this Juneteenth, 2006 manning a booth " Save the Bayview ". The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (SFRA) is out to steal land in the Bayview, declare huge areas blight, and use Eminent Domain and send thousands packing. Much the same as was done at the Fillmore. It goes without saying many of those who will be adversely impacted will be African Americans.
Thousands of African Americans lost their homes in the Fillmore in the 60s and to this day talk about those hard times and the suffering endured by those families that were forced to leave the Fillmore and landed in desperation on Sixth Street in the Single Residency Occupancy (SROs) hotels and in many cases with friends and relatives in the Bayview Hunters Point, in Oakland and other cities.
History is repeating itself and this Racist City with Mayor Gavin Newsom as its leader is joining Marsha Rosen, Jesse Blout, Michael Cohen, and a host of other crooked developers to steal land using Blight and Eminent Domain as tools. Then they will make tons of money using Tax Increment and forcing thousands of people of color out of the Bayview Hunters Point.
It is already happening in the Bayview Hunters Point - some areas that come under SFRA like the Hallows Project the rent has been increased from $900 to $1800 and eviction notices have been given. Now imagine the future.
Juneteenth is about Emancipation and Freedom. Today all over San Francisco many African American are falling prey to Racism. The rights fought by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others are being trampled.
Gavin Newsom is using the term Civil Rights when he talks about same sex marriages. Gavin Newsom does not blink an eye when thousands in Public Housing and others in projects run by the SFRA are told to leave and some live under adverse conditions and have been for years.
There are some African American sellouts foremost among them the Black Pastors. They pimp religion and have not taken a united stand when they see so many African American suffer. They have permitted Black on Black killings without blinking an eye. Other sellouts like Sophie Maxwell, Angelo King, Karen Pierce, Olin Webb, Doris Vincent, Willie B. Kennedy, and those African Americans on the SFRA commission have done the African American Community much harm.
Juneteenth is good but it does little good when African Americans forget history and help in the decimation of the African American culture and community in San Francisco. I count Willie L. Brown Jr. among those that have helped crooked developers and Racists harm innocent African Americans. Time will tell.
Ms. Jacqueline Barnaby and her hand made dolls.
Constituents signing the Referendum.
Black Rodeo Riders.
Majeid's Mother and Omar Khalif.
Kevin and Leroy King.
Rodney Hampton running for Supervisor District 10.
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