Juneteenth parade organizers ask public to support black business as event goes virtual

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Black And Mobile is a black-owned business and delivery service exclusively for black-owned restaurants.

"I was thinking about this years ago and I didn't see that many black-owned restaurants so I said there's a need," says David Cabello, founder of Black and Mobile.

Supporting black entrepreneurs like Cabello is one of many ways people are encouraged to celebrate Juneteenth, of course, while social distancing.

"It's actually three black-owned businesses you support; my business, you support the restaurant, and you support the driver whose an independent contractor," Cabello said.
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After last year's event set a record for the biggest in the nation's, Philadelphia's upcoming Juneteenth celebration will have a much different look this year.

"We're grateful for people not part of the community spending their money and ultimately creating opportunities for people," says Daaiyah Johnson, owner of Daaiyah's Delicious.

COVID-19 has turned the Philadelphia's traditional Juneteenth Parade into a virtual event on Friday.

But given that the death of George Floyd has sparked social justice protests here in Philly and across the nation, Gary Shepherd, a longtime consultant with the Pennsylvania Juneteenth Initiative, Inc. says acknowledging the holiday this year will be more important than ever.

"It has brought the true history to the light of how black people have been marginalized and in many cases and instances lynched and murdered over the years," Shepherd said.
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The venture is the first black-owned food delivery service in Philly, exclusively highlighting and delivering meals from black-owned businesses.

The PA Juneteenth Initiative says some are doing caravans to educate their neighbors about the holiday.

They also encourage parents to educate their kids.

"Teach your children about it as well because that's where it starts, Shepherd said. "That's where our future lies."

You can also celebrate by educating yourself or by shopping at a black business to let them know they matter.

"Supporting us now is definitely needed (now), but don't let it fade away," Cabello said.
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