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Healing Black American Gardens In Freedom’s Blackened Tunes!

How the 2019 Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival Created Nourishment, Wellness, Mental Mindness, A Social Healing Factor For Atlanta's Black American Community!

Black America’s gardens are diverse in many forms. Her authenticity carries on, and even sustains non-Black American personnel, who serve as visitors to her gardens. Colorful, dynamic, vivacious, stimulating, nourishing; and the cultural her/history book of Black America’s identity, culture, and movement in the United States of America. Every year, the celebration of Black America’s continuation is marked by a series of days; illuminating the end of 400 years of enslavement in the United States of America. Truly, jubilee, at its finest!

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

So, from June 14-16, 2019, a vivacious carnival of Black America’s gardens, took place. Through the 2019 Juneteenth Atlanta Parade & Music Festival, a celebration of freedom for Negro Folk in the United States of America re-occurred. Execution and planning of the event was conducted by Mr. Bob Johnson (Organizer and Owner of Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival). Owner of Hayes Collective Consulting, Ms. Marissa Hayes (from Austin, Texas), served as the social media marketer, while networking for the event. Ms. Hayes further articulates that “we used an app for marketing called Black Point, and it is the world’s first Black GPS app.” This extraordinary dame proceeds on to clarify that “Mr. Bob Johnson started working with the stadium staff in February; organizing and planning the event. This is the first, big, urban event held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, outside of any NFL type event. This was a very big deal for the Atlanta Black community.” The celebration was prevalent throughout the entire nation. However, the aura of Atlanta takes on an intrinsic promise. In the heart of a Black American mecca, the celebration of Juneteenth is one of the best images of victory. It is the epitome of defeating one era of the institution of slavery. It is symbolic of overcoming the traumas of mental health and PTSD of slavery in the Black American community.

In addition to the economic and business aspects of the Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival (2019), the most enriching reward were the plethora of colorful images of Black American people-images which are often removed from prominent USA media and the world. Celebrations as #JuneteenthATL are also opportunities for Black American communities to address issues of mental health and PTSD. Much of PTSD being passed down from the horrors and legacy of slavery, it’s one of the epidemics not addressed in the workforce. How part of freedom includes the ongoing work of doing healing work. That includes those stresses and pains, directly impacting Black American people in the work place; while also dealing with the stresses of socio-economic injustices and being paid less in the labor sectors.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

How moving it would have been if the picturesque viewing of Black American children building-engaging in the frolic of children’s wonder and imagination-were circulated throughout the different nations of the world! How magical it would have been if pictures of Black American maidens (doing the work of providing healing to their culture and people) were presented on every mainstream newspaper. And last, but especially not least. The presentation of Black American men as loving fathers, devoted husbands, while interacting in brotherly love with other Black American men, would have changed the conversation (and climate) on Black American masculinity and presence in the USA. ISuch images also showcases the humanity of Black American men. They too must mind their mental health!

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

What a shame that the living and performing aesthetics of Black American people and culture, in the midst of freedom’s celebration, was not highlighted and illuminated for the world to see. Not in the way that it could have been.

Other vigilant auras of the 2019 Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival was walking throughout the greenery of the Home Depot Backyard spacing. Coming into contact with military veterans, clinical workers, stations of Soul Food, dancing, musical performances (and others), linguistics, fashionable sayings, and trends. Observing young and elder Black American men engage in entrepreneurship and healthy engagements with each other, was a wonder of Black American wellness and love. There was the Spirit and essence of future generations in the excitement of child’s play. It was one of the factors of the healing process for Black American people in the city of Atlanta.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

The educational sectors of Auburn Avenue Research Library, Atlantic Public Libraries, showed their presence. Reminders in the value of our educational sectors and its her/historical value in our communities-during and after the institution of slavery in the United States of America. After all, the largest Black American educational center resides right here in Atlanta. There was also a healing factor, among generations, as DJs brought on the different musical genres of Black American soiling. The “dance off” between young, middle-aged, and the old, took place. Old Skool and the New Skool, transforming into one genre! Black American creativity has always been the primary form of healing, and therapy, for Black America. Receiving artistic therapy in order to get through the stresses of work, hardships, and the socio-inequities of the past generations and now.

Artful decor and visual essence highlighted the creativity of Black American artscapes n Atlanta. Varying from city to city. From town to town. Yet, how Black America’s ATL culture demonstrated her essence (and continues to demonstrate) is like no other. No other Southern state! No other Northern state! No other state at all!

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

One of the pivotal essencs of the Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival 2019 (and in other parts of the country), was its demonstration as to how Black American people used our music and culture as an anecdote for a 400-year old, brutal slave system in the United States of America. The music and cultural aesthetics was (and still is) the therapy~our natural healing. There was much more work to do, as it concerns the healing work (of PTSD unconsciously passed from generation to generation) in Black America’s gardens.

Too often the images of Black America’s communities and people are presented to the USA and the world as a negative. Even the initiatives taken by enslaved and post-slavery Black American communities (and people) to live normal lives, and develop healthy social, work, and cultural environments, is far from the public eye. The miserable and depressing stories of slavery-without articulating the practice of love, joy, establishing peculiar kinship relationships, comedy, and other holistic categories of getting through those difficult times-are heavily presented as the primary imagery of Negro Folk in the United States. Even today, celebrations as national Juneteenth festivals are ignored by a number of television outlets. Its apparent that, in addition to societal institutions, the consistency of showcasing Black America’s gardens as violent, miserable, and without life is also a weapon of racism and sexism. Its why celebration as Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival 2019 are holistic and meditative weapons and phenomenons for Black American culture, identity, and social progress. For they highlight the natural joy, love, and creativity of Black American people, when we return to our gardens. Such events highlight the mental healing process, at work.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

It highlights our humanity, our economic power, feminine and masculine essence, and our natural right to exist. . .in all of our authenticity.

We laughed. We danced. We strutted our stuff. . .Sho’ nuff!

Dat’ good food, Baby cuz’ we birthed dat’ Soul! Dat Funkadelic, Soulphyllic, Blues-based Soul! Sho’ nuff!

Juneteenth Atlanta Music Parade and Music Festival 2019! Sho’ nuff!

Slavery came to an end! Let’s continue the Soulful healing trend!

#BlackAmericanMusicMonth #BlackMusicMonth #JuneteenthATL #Juneteenth

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
(Photograph By Wonderful Black American Man In Atlanta; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
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