HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Juneteenth celebrations continued Saturday in Huntsville with a Black marketplace aimed to showcase and support local business owners.
Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans in the confederacy. The North Huntsville community came together Saturday afternoon cultivating a space they called, ” For Us, By Us”. The concept is something one organizer said brings solace in a time of need.
“In a time where police brutality is becoming so prominent and Black people are being torn down every which way, it’s important that we stick together, we invest our money back into ourselves, we give ourselves something to look forward to,” said event organizer LaTigra Burgess.
Those in attendance said the location of the event symbolizes a safe space for Black merchants.
“In my opinion, downtown isn’t for us, and we don’t have anything. So the Northside is all we have and Stoner Field, most of us grew up on this field,” event organizer Trevion Smith said.
Organizers said its more important than ever to use these events to teach the next generation.
“We want to try to get them as involved as possible because we want to make sure they understand this is not just for adults. It’s for y’all too,” Burgess said. “Because when we’re gone, and we’re old and we can’t do this anymore, y’all have to carry it on.”
Huntsville police officers were in attendance at the event. Organizers said their presence was important to them. They hope it becomes a starting point for building stronger community connections.