DETROIT (FOX 2) - "This is our Independence Day," said Ronald Copeland.
It’s called Juneteenth or Black Independence Day and now it’s officially a federal holiday in the US, which celebrates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
"Juneteenth is about freedom, knowing our history, and knowing our heritage," said Kay Willingham.
A number of events will take place in Detroit this weekend for Juneteenth, celebrated yearly on June 19th. This year's festivities start Friday with the Rhythm and Art Block Party.
"We start at Eastern Market Brewery and we’ll have a commemoration of Juneteenth," said Copeland, Juneteenth Jubilee Detroit . "That will be some artists singing."
On Saturday Juneteenth events will be featured on Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion.
"We have over 100 African American-owned small businesses, retail service," said Copeland. "They’re doing special discounts and sales."
The owner of Art In Motion will use the event to empower others
"I’ll have several vendors that will be showcasing some of their ceramic pieces as well as home-crafted items," Willingham said. "I technically don’t charge my vendors, a lot are my friends and artists that work with me all the time, to be here with me. So whatever their sales are, they are theirs. So that is the way of giving them freedom and the opportunity to grow their business, and support the community."
The Avenue of Fashion will also feature a health and wellness fair, a main-stage featuring local entertainers and a kids’ village.
"Outdoor games, face painting, ice cream truck cotton candy popcorn," Copeland said. "We’ll have an educational piece where the kids will be told about Juneteenth and understand why we celebrate."
On Sunday the festivities continue with a Juneteenth Freedom Fest. GO HERE to learn more.
"Sunday is at Eastern Market and the city of Detroit is partnering at Shed 5," Copeland said.
For details on all the events in Detroit GO HERE for the full list.
Vendors participating in this Juneteenth celebration hope this event brings people together
"Not only support us as Black entrepreneurs, but to support the total community, no matter what your gender, is no matter who you are, what your background is, what your legacy is, it’s moving forward into making us one."