June 19, 2018
I started my day, Saturday June 16th, 2018 with Juneteenth on my mind. I knew that I would have a busy day, and a busy weekend and figured it would be best if I awoke early – to watch the sunrise and have my me time. My me time – what’s that you ask? Owe just this ritual where I sit out on my patio, while my speakers tune in to my favorite jazz sound as i flip through the pages of a nice book. Ahhh – say it with me, ahhh. It’s soothing, it’s relaxing, and it makes me happy. Not wanting to bother with cooking anything for breakfast I contemplated what eatery I would visit before my day began – one where I would be in the heat and dealing with a lot of kids.
“Bingo! I thought about Urban Café, a Black Owned eatery for vegan and organic lovers – for some odd reason here lately I have craved less and less meat.”
I figured that they would have a variety of options and hopefully I would be able to find a fuel packed breakfast sandwich. As I entered the quaint deli on 41st and Troost in Kansas City, MO I observed the beautiful and natural décor. It was drool worthy from the menu options to the ambiance. I choose this delectable option as the owner rattled off the third option that he would recommend. A picky eater I must say I steered away from a lot of things I was unfamiliar with and stuck to something no one can mess up – Sausage and Egg breakfast sandwich. This sandwich was packed with a punch and kept me satisfied until the celebration had nearly come to an end. I enjoyed it – and will definitely be back again, hopefully this time I am bold enough to try something new.
Locating 18th and Vine rather easily I embarked on a bit of sight-seeing before I got to the task that had brought me down much earlier than a lot of the guests. 18th and Vine a location in the heart of Kansas City – known for Jazz, Barbeque, and a good time – is a staple point for anyone looking to venture around and see a bit of history. This beautiful photo captures the essence of the street and surrounding neighborhoods from the past to the present – this photo speaks a story of my life and many others. As I sat and observed this painting for quite a while I reflected on the trials and tribulations that African Americans have faced from the start of this Country until now.
“Finally entering the Historic Lincoln Building I located the Royale Youth Vending Squad – I had come to assist a group of talented Young Entrepreneurs.”
As the celebration began to pay homage to our ancestors for the very opportunities these children are now afforded – I snapped photos to relive this moment years to come. It’s truly amazing how far of a race we have come – from endless sacrifice and pain – to Youth Entrepreneurs setting up shop at the celebration that allowed them this right.
June 19th, a life changing day for the African American community in the United States is usually celebrated on the Saturday before or after the actual day. This day has meant so many things to me as I have grown older, as a child I was unaware about the true importance or essence of the day – The Freedom of Slaves; Black slaves to be exact. Although this proclamation initially went to the big state of Texas – thankfully it was also passed through the remaining parts of the United States.
As I grew to be a teenager the thoughts I had were merely about how much I missed the festivities and fun I would have every year in Parade Park. As a young adult I reflected on how this tradition, this celebration, had become a distant memory in Kansas City. We didn’t celebrate it anymore and if we had it was on a much smaller scale. This year however we embarked on the biggest turn out I can remember in the last ten years. It was amazing – to say the least. African American horse trainers provided free rides to young kids – allowing them the privilege of feeling like royalty as they stared off into the large crowds.
“Although the Juneteenth Celebration still remains at a small scale compared to my childhood years, I felt pure joy in my heart to see so many of my fellow people and those from other ethnic backgrounds celebrating the freedom that we rightfully were owed.”
I can only continue to hope that our children are enlightened and bold enough to act on their ambitions and talents and to always pay homage to those before them – for their sacrifices, for their commitment, for their strength. As June 19, 2018 comes to an end I sit amazed at how this blog has come together. I originally planned to release it the day prior but it seemed fitting to wait for the actual day to come to provide you guys with a glimpse behind my eyes. I hope you enjoyed – and continue to come back for more blogs and life lessons.
-Until Next Time, Sonneblom Lex