While marking a celebratory moment in Black history, the Louisville Juneteenth festival also brought financial gain to local minority businesses.Tables and tents filled with dozens of food vendors, locally owned products, and newer businesses like Leatrice Johns’ clothing boutique, Good Girl Gone Boss.“I was so excited and looking forward to the experience and just networking with other businesses,” she said. “It’s all a celebration at this point.”Knowing the impact of the pandemic on the black community specifically, the celebration was coupled with awareness. Free COVID-19 vaccines were given on-site and mental health resources were available.“It’s important for the African American culture to really understand the importance of therapy,” said Justin Campbell, a mental health therapist. “I just help people understand that there are good people out here trying to help you live your best life.”The overall theme of the day was unity and community, which was felt throughout Waterfront Park.“We’ve got to build community back, we’ve got to build trust back, because right now there’s so much hatred and division,” Campbell said.The fun-filled event was attended by people of all ages, like 12-year-old Nais Brown, who says she was recently taught the history of Juneteenth. “I learned that people of my heritage were freed from slavery,” Brown said. “It feels good to be here. I see a lot of people that look like me.”Many parents who brought their children to the festival say it not only teaches them the true history of the past, but seeing successful Black businesses gives them inspiration for their future.“It’s just letting the kids know that whatever it is, reach for it,” said Angel Mitchell, one of the festival’s vendors and owner of Angel Eyez and More. “Don’t fear yourself, believe in yourself. The only thing holding yourself back is you.”

While marking a celebratory moment in Black history, the Louisville Juneteenth festival also brought financial gain to local minority businesses.

Tables and tents filled with dozens of food vendors, locally owned products, and newer businesses like Leatrice Johns’ clothing boutique, Good Girl Gone Boss.

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“I was so excited and looking forward to the experience and just networking with other businesses,” she said. “It’s all a celebration at this point.”

Knowing the impact of the pandemic on the black community specifically, the celebration was coupled with awareness. Free COVID-19 vaccines were given on-site and mental health resources were available.

“It’s important for the African American culture to really understand the importance of therapy,” said Justin Campbell, a mental health therapist. “I just help people understand that there are good people out here trying to help you live your best life.”

The overall theme of the day was unity and community, which was felt throughout Waterfront Park.

“We’ve got to build community back, we’ve got to build trust back, because right now there’s so much hatred and division,” Campbell said.

The fun-filled event was attended by people of all ages, like 12-year-old Nais Brown, who says she was recently taught the history of Juneteenth.

“I learned that people of my heritage were freed from slavery,” Brown said. “It feels good to be here. I see a lot of people that look like me.”

Many parents who brought their children to the festival say it not only teaches them the true history of the past, but seeing successful Black businesses gives them inspiration for their future.

“It’s just letting the kids know that whatever it is, reach for it,” said Angel Mitchell, one of the festival’s vendors and owner of Angel Eyez and More. “Don’t fear yourself, believe in yourself. The only thing holding yourself back is you.”

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