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'Historically Black' Santa Barbara hosts free Block Party to celebrate freedom of enslaved people

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Juneteenth SB
A free Block Party in Santa Barbara will commemorate Juneteenth on Sunday

Juneteenth – the commemoration of the emancipation of enslaved people in the US - is celebrated Sunday with festivities, including in the funk zone in Santa Barbara.

Last year, Juneteeth officially became a federal holiday, and this year, a Block Party with performances, food and a Black artisan market is being held in the funk zone in Santa Barbara to mark the day in 1865 - two and a half years after the signing of the emancipation proclamation – when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to ensure enslaved people were free.

It's important to mark the event, Jordan Killebrew is the Co-Founder of Juneteenth Santa Barbara, told KCLU.

"Returning to our roots and being able to celebrate the freedom of enslaved African Americans is so important," he said. "It's so important to touch the land of which our ancestors and elders walked upon and to celebrate freedom and celebrate justice and honor them in this regard."

The community event themed Caring for the People also honors local Black artists & artisans, performers, and organizations as well as providing free food, dancing, and singing, in front of Shalhoob’s Funk Zone Patio.

The event takes place on June 19th from 12pm-5pm on the 200 block of Gray Ave (between E. Montecito and E. Yanonali.