JUNETEENTH!

Music, Arts Festival to Applaud Civic and Religion Leaders

A businessman and a former member of the Oklahoma City Board of Education, a Baptist pastor and others will be the recipients of annual Juneteenth Music & Arts Festival Awards during an event scheduled for Saturday, June 19.

The festival will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 7 p.m. at Washington Park, 400 N. High Ave.

These are the recipients of the  Rita  Washington   Memoprial  Soul Awakening Community Awards (to be presented at 2:20 p.m. at the First Security Bank Stage):

  • Joseph Clytus Jr., who previously served on the Oklahoma City Board of Education and is the owner of business enterprises, will be presented the Lifetime Achievement Award;
  • Rev. Derrick Scobey, pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, will be presented of the Public Servant of the Year Award;
  • Counseling Solutions & Interventions and its owner Sherman Johnson Sr., are the recipients of the Business of the Year Award;
  • The Oklahoma Youth Literacy Program and its owner Gina Darby, will be the recipients of the Organization of the Year Award; and
  • Warren Pete, principal of the Millwood Arts Academy & Middle School, will be presented the Educator of the Year Award.

(Sponsors of the award presentations are Tinker Federal Credit Union, Guiding Right, the Metropolitan Library Systems, First Security Bank, Langston University, The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City/Oklahoma County Department of Health, The Black Chronicle, Heart and Soul 92.1 and 1140,  Oklahoma City’s  CBS Sports Radio, and Power 103.5.

Jon B, the R&B recording artist, will be among the entertainers appearing on the  festival’s  First Security Bank Stage.

The singer is known for the hits, “They Don’t Know,” “Pretty Girl” and “Someone to Love,” and is said to be one of the smooth voices that dominated radio airwaves in the 1990’s.

A songwriter, too, the singer has worked with the likes of Toni Braxton, Babyface and 2 Pac.

Also headlining the music festival will be recording artist Ray J.

Ray J is known for the songs “Sexy Can I,” “One Wish” and “Wait a Minute.”

The performer has also found success as an actor and in business as owner of a technology company and in investments.

He is the brother of  recording star and actress Brandy.

In addition, the festival will feature local performers Robert Banks & the Positive Connect Band, Jeremy Jackson, the Nayborhood Barbie, Butter, the Direct Connect Band, the 411 Band, Vokal and others.

More than 20 music acts will perform gospel, hip hop, jazz and rhythm & blues music.

(A complete schedule of performers can be found in today’s edition of The Black Chronicle and online at blackchronicle.com.

Sponsored by Tinker Federal Credit Union, Guiding Right, and Perry Publishing & Broadcasting, the festival will exhibit the works of local and other artists, as well as a number of booths representing agencies and companies.

Among the artists exhibiting their works will be Brother Joshua, Lynn Hutch, PatcHappy, Heather Marie Designs, Sunee Rice, Rico Young, Afrodisiac Art, NyLainah Brewer, C Lashawn Art, Willis Sullivan, Creative Colors, LLC, Chandler Watson and Muse Art.

Threatt Art Gallery is sponsor of the art exhibits.

New this year to the festival is a painting event at which patrons get to paint the likenesses of George Floyd and Breanna Taylor.

That event is sponsored by the Urban Wellness Dispensary.

Juneteenth is a celebration of the belated recognition by American slaves west of the Mason-Dixon Line that they had been freed months earlier by the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth celebrants today celebrate freedom with arts, cultural  and music festivities.

Last year’s Oklahoma City festival was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 12,000 patrons of this year’s event are expected to attend, according to John Bolden, event manager, the festival will be “a celebration of the arts, culturally-inspired music, as well as education and good health.”

Free rides and games for children, an “Eating of the Greens” contest will be features of the festival, as well as a best sweet potato pie contest.

From noon until 4 p.m., free COVID-19 vaccinations will be given by representatives of the Oklahoma City/Oklahoma County Department of Health.

Each patron wanting to receive the vaccination must present a valid form of identification.

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