Celebrating Juneteenth with southside soul

The free Soul of the Southside festival centered around Black culture and community in celebration of Juneteenth. The event took place Monday, June 19 from noon to 8 p.m. along Minnehaha Ave. and was presented by The Legacy Building, The Hook and Ladder and KRSM 98.9.
Juneteenth is a celebration of the emancipation of slavery in the United States. To many, the celebration is more than that. Juneteenth is also a celebration of the Black communities as a whole – a celebration of resilience, beauty, and togetherness.
Black-owned pop-up businesses and organizations lined the block of Minnehaha starting from Arbeiter Brewing up to The Hook and Ladder.
These businesses featured hand-crafted fashion pieces, mental health services, food and more. Many of the business owners are new, local businesses that got their start during or after the pandemic. One example of this is Black artist, teacher and entrepreneur Rajine of RajineTheQueenArtistry. Rajine began her art business and teaching career in 2020 after the death of George Floyd. Her goal is to show her students the value of having a BIPOC teacher. Rajine’s multimedia artwork is inspired by the femininity of Black women. 
“I just want to show I’m proud to be a Black woman,” Rajine said. “We all come in different shapes, sizes and hues.” 
Black music and spoken word artists also took the stage at The Hook and Ladder performing in honor of the celebration. Two Minnesota-based artists, Brotha Asè and Godson King David, performed a musical duo that spoke on topics of Black empowerment, perseverance and healing. Brotha Asè also performed spoken word pieces alongside his wife, Jada, who performed an interpretive dance. 
“We celebrate Juneteenth because we celebrate freedom,” Brotha Asè said. “Freedom isn’t about being physically free. Freedom starts in your mind.”


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