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'It's our second Independence Day' Ridgecrest Community comes together to celebrate Juneteenth

The Ridgecrest Community Garden put on their second annual Juneteenth event which served to further the garden's mission of unity
Posted at 11:40 AM, Jun 20, 2024

  • The Ridgecrest Community Garden is about giving and education and on June 19 the Ridgecrest community came together for a Juneteenth celebration that emphasized unity.
  • Juneteenth takes place every year on June 19, and it commemorates the day in 1865 when the Union Army enforced the emancipation proclamation in Texas — two and a half years after the proclamation was made.


“A lot of people don’t know what Juneteenth is right?” said Tyrone Ledford, Founder and President of the Ridgecrest Community Garden.

Ledford, one of many residents who helped organize the event, told me the Juneteenth celebration went hand in hand with the community garden’s overall mission.

“The community garden was founded on the foundation of unity, providing opportunities for the community to come out and celebrate cultural heritage, and also just bringing people together.”

The event featured a speaker that talked about the history of the holiday – which was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021.

Residents like Jospehine and Dalette came together to celebrate.

“The atmosphere is really nice, the vibes, you feel a lot of love here, you really do,” said Dalette Vickers.

Residents like Rasheed, who is an extrovert, got a chance to meet fellow Ridgecrest residents.

“It’s been nice, cool and laid back, I just socialize with all the different people, tell them my name, and I ask them theirs,” said Rasheed.

Activities for community members were set-up.

“My name is Nikyasha and I’m one of the Umoja coordinators for Cerro Coso Community college. This workshop that we have here is all about healing and relaxation.”

Attendees were able to create their own healing teas usings herbs at a booth Nakysha Cummings put together.

All the activities were available for free.

“We want to be a beacon for the community,” Cummings said.

“For me personally, I celebrate my ancestors today, and I’m really saying thank you for everything that they went through and sacrificed,” said attendee Josephine.

“There’s a lot of stigma behind Juneteenth where people think it’s just a black holiday. This is our second independence day, our independence from slavery. It wasn’t just black people who fought for independence, it was free black and it was whites, it was everyone who believed that slavery was wrong,” Ledford said.

The event aimed to raise cultural awareness and bring the community together.

“It’s so beautiful to see different cultures come together to celebrate something so awesome as Juneteenth,” said Josephine.

“I’m Just glad that today was a day that I could come out of my house and just enjoy my community,” said Dalette.

“You’ll see a diverse group of people here, you’ll see no separation, here, we’re all talking, we're eating, enjoying food, enjoying activities together, taking pictures, this is the epitome of how we want to see our community grow,” said Ledford.

“Is there anything you’d like to add?”

“Come next year.”

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