Hundreds show to 3rd annual Shop Black Festival
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Sunday was the third annual Juneteenth Shop Black Festival, where over 100 black-owned businesses set up shop for a large crowd of supporters.
For this event, the June heat wasn’t stopping this celebration of Juneteenth, as a lines packed booths and food lines.
“It’s so good that we can come together and live together in peace for a day,” said Rev. Dr. Billy Patton of Memphis.
“The food, the fellowship, this music, it’s just something good to do,” said Eboni Brown, visiting from Northeast Mississippi.
“We have to give back to our community. Being able to do this at this festival is wonderful,” E.J. Presley said.
For vendors, the event provided a chance to boost sales and build their customer base.
“It’s exposure,” said Freddie Moss with Old Fashioned Way Organics, showcasing some of his barbeque sauces. “You never would be able to see people in a bigger type of setting. This way, I’ve got samples they can taste it, feel it, see it, and actually take it and have a good time with it.”
Moss also added the aspect of Father’s Day and the encouraging sight of seeing families out and about enjoying the festival.
“My son is 23,” Moss said. “He lives in Houston, Texas right now, but he uses my product down there. He called and told me happy Father’s Day and that he loved me. It meant the world to me.”
Juneteenth may be the youngest recognized holiday, federally, but folks here hope it becomes a more recognized tradition among everyone, here and throughout the Mid-South.
“We must continue to appreciate people and tell the people about the history and the struggle of our people,” Patton said.
“The holiday, a lot of people probably didn’t know about it, but within the black community we have been celebrating this for years. To get it federally recognized, it’s special for everyone,” Presley said.
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