A caravan of several cars decked out in Africana decor kicked off Juneteenth celebrations in Long Beach Friday. About 15 cars converged at Bixby Park Friday evening, drove around Downtown and came to a stop at the Cherry Beach parking lot.
Juneteenth has been regarded as a holiday that recognizes the freedom from enslavement for Black people in 1865. The holiday also marks a moment of celebration for Black culture amid civil unrest sparked by racial injustices across the country.
“What Juneteenth means to us is an opportunity to not only reflect on the history or the reflection point in this country’s history where we were all considered free, but also a moment to spark dialogue where we talk about elements that exist currently that we see as opportunities to get closer to our true freedom,” Marcus Mcdougald said as he stood with a Pan-African flag in Bixby Park moments after the motorcade sped off.
Members of the Masonic Riders Long Beach motorcycle club escorted the caravan down Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach Boulevard and Anaheim Street before coming to a stop at Cherry Beach.
“It was good getting all that support,” Zac Wade, sergeant-at-arms for the Masonic Riders, said. “They just asked us to help out with the motorcade, so we sent a couple brothers out.”
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