Black Owned Indy hosts ‘Freedom Fest 2020’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Nearly 100 people celebrated Juneteenth at a block party on east 38th and North Sherman Drive on Friday. There was music, food, a bouncy house and several Black-owned business vendors. There was even a booth set up for people to register to vote.

Black Owned Indy hosted the event called “Freedom Fest 2020.” One of the organizers Kala Majors said the Black community has always celebrated Juneteenth but she is glad more people are starting to take notice.

“I’m just happy that the youth are becoming more aware of things and they are so active because that is what matters, that is the voice,” said Majors.

News 8 asked Indiana Black Expo president and CEO Tanya Mckinzie if she thinks there should be more emphasis on the day.

“We acknowledge Juneteenth. We understand what it means for African Americans, particularly those who were in slavery. Right now we are trying to work on inequalities, racial inequalities that still exist,” said Mckinzie.

Many black business owners News 8 spoke with at Freedom Fest said they experience inequality every day.

“When it comes to natural hair, you go to the store you don’t see much African American things you can use on your hair,” said business owner Candace Gill.

Many event participants said there is a long way to go but seeing so many people from different backgrounds come together is a step in the right direction.

“Who knows where we’ll be in 50 years, the problem may not be solved but hopefully we’re in a better spot,” said author Marc Hardy.

“It’s not about us, it’s about the kids. The future CEO’s and Black leaders of Indianapolis,” said organizer Kala Majors.

There are more Juneteenth events happening this weekend.

Saturday the Indianapolis Recorder is partnering with the Study for African American Life and History, IUPUI Program in Africana Studies, Urban Patch, Flanner House, Kheprw Institute and Recorder Women’s Auxiliary to discuss history, culture, community, the arts and racism.

You can watch the event live from 6-8 p.m. here.

Also on Saturday, Indy Juneteenth will host a virtual party from 3-7 p.m. with a drum circle and live DJs. This event can be livestreamed here.