Community members reflect on the importance of celebrating Juneteenth

Community members reflect on the significance of Juneteenth and what it means to come together and celebrate.
LEIMERT PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Juneteenth is now a national holiday. The annual celebration falls on June 19 and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

"We see Juneteenth as an opportunity to reflect on the past, but most importantly, consider how each one of us can continue to show up and band together to work together for a better future," said the Rams director of Social Justice and Football Development Johnathan Franklin.

"The understanding of who we are, what we've come from, and the fact that equality without equity really is just symbolism without substance," said JC Johnson, co-owner of The Serving Spoon about the importance of the holiday.

The Los Angeles Rams has a community initiative that provides promotional support to Black owned businesses in Inglewood. And for Juneteenth, they'll be paying for services at a few of the locations.

"There's a lot of attention to all of the negative," said Amanda-Jane Thomas, co-founder of Inglewood coffee house Sip & Sonder. "And really, there needs to be more attention on just all of the positive and the beauty and the freedom."

Juneteenth celebrations traditionally have music, dancing and entertainment, but a huge part of the commemoration is also in the history.

"In addition to a celebration," said Shanita Nicholas Sip & Sonder's second co-founder Shanita Nicholas. "It's also a reflection on a history."

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