Juneteenth parade returns to West Philadelphia

The music, outfits, and floats featured at the parade were all meant to celebrate Black culture.

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Monday, June 20, 2022
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Juneteenth parade returns to West Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia celebrated Juneteenth with a parade through West Philadelphia, an event that has returned for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The music, outfits, and floats featured at the parade were all meant to celebrate Black culture.

"Juneteenth means culture. Juneteenth means knowing who you are. It's very important to know your history and being able to celebrate your history and other people understanding about you and your culture. That's what is important," said Sonni King, the parade producer.

The parade followed 52nd Street in West Philadelphia from Fairmount Park to Malcolm X Park.

For Nikki Bagby, it was a chance to spread awareness of the meaning behind the holiday.

"I think there's something about us being in COVID and people finally paying attention to who we are in this country and what African Americans have contributed," said Bagby, who's the CEO of A Humble Heart.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in America. This is the second year it's been recognized as a federal holiday -- a major milestone for the Pennsylvania Juneteenth Initiative.

"We celebrate every other holiday during any other part of the year, so it's such an honor for us to actually have a holiday that's about Black history and Black culture and all we've been through with American society," said Niya Danzy-Ghaffaar, a student at Cheyney University, the first HBCU.

After the parade, there was an all-day festival at Malcolm X Park, which featured vendors, food, and community resources.