Delayed Juneteenth festivities in Albion were enjoyed indoors the following Saturday

By Michelle Mueller

Contributing Writer
July 1, 2021

 


After all of the outdoor activities that had been planned by community members to celebrate the new national holiday of Juneteenth were rained out last Saturday, the organizers – Lenn Reid, Vivian Davis, Cliff Harris, Eddie Williams, Christine Crawford, Dannon Reid, Marquetta Frost, and Tonya Arnett – decided to reschedule and move the event indoors on July 26th at the Marshall Opportunity High School.

Spread throughout the entire west side of the former Albion High School were scattered areas with several vendors selling African American themed items such as artwork, clothing and hats, and jewelry, a Calhoun County health fair occupying the former library area – and delivering COVID-19 vaccine shots to those needing them – information booths, a cardio drumming class courtesy of the YMCA, and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament organized by Milt Barnes of Play Right Sports Academy.

Gathered at the Battle Creek YMCA’s display were (from left) Maliya Frost, Za’Riah Kemp, Wanda Kemp, Dean Klann, and Zane Grey.

Vendors Tramaine and Takala Williams (far left and far right respectively), co-owners of Righteous View – whose slogan is Truth In Art! – pose with other supporters of their family business. They are Darina Sandoval, B. Edmonds-Williams, B. Williams, and Quinn Lewis. The company’s mission is to bring truth through art and lifestyle. (Youth names abbreviated to comply with Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.)
B. Williams, age 8, is officially the President of Concept & Design for the Righteous View family business. The ideas for the artwork and jigsaw puzzles portraying biblical scenes with Black subjects were his, as were topics for tee-shirts, books, and other products they are creating and selling. Here he is holding a copy of the anti-bullying children’s book he conceived of, which features an illustrated version of himself sharing the book’s message.

Cardio drumming class courtesy of the YMCA

In the auditorium, programming for the afternoon included a welcome from Lenn Reid, followed by comments from local politicians Jim Haadsma, Gary Tompkins, and Sen. Dr. John Bizen (via his representative Karen Todd), as well as Dr. Wesley Dick on behalf of the NAACP Albion Chapter.


Reid also took the occasion to announce that the new pavilion in Holland Park was being dedicated to another local African American hero. “Hereafter, it will be known as The Dr. Harry J. Bonner Pavilion, for one of Albion’s most distinguished persons. Mr. Bonner’s endless work with both youth and adults in Albion earned him the right to be honored and acknowledged,” she said.


Lenn Reid, who has spearheaded the Holland Park restoration project since its inception, announced during the program that the brand-new pavilion at the park will be named the Dr. Harry J. Bonner Pavilion.

Musical performances by local artists, the band Air Tight, and rapper Santrell Perez, ended the afternoon’s entertainment.


The group Air Tight entertained fans on Saturday, June 28 as part of the delayed Juneteenth at the Marshall Opportunity School.

Photos by Michelle Mueller except as noted.  Photos and story copyright, The Recorder.

This story is reprinted with permission from The Recorder.
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Michelle Mueller

Michelle Mueller

Michelle is the author of the book Mr. Bonner: The Story of a Mentoring Journey, which was released in 2019.   She has written for The Recorder, the Albion College Io Triumphe magazine, and she is an enthusiastic scrapbooker in her spare time.  See more articles by Michelle Mueller here: www.albionmich.net/writer-mueller/