Juneteenth event to showcase Black-owned businesses

Published 9:30 am Thursday, June 15, 2023

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On Saturday, the first annual Juneteenth Business Crawl is set to make its foundational debut in Troup County.

Juneteenth is a federal holiday celebrated on June 19 that recognizes the end of slavery in the United States, when the final slaves were freed in Galveston, Texas.

Created by Eric Curtis, the event will showcase Black-owned businesses in the area.

“I wanted the event to be like a notifier for all of the Black-owned businesses here because a lot of people don’t know that we have many local Black-owned businesses. I wanted to make it known and felt like Juneteenth is the perfect day to put that on display,” Curtis said.

Curtis said the crawl will run from noon to 9 p.m. and participants will be provided a map of all the businesses in the event.

“A lot of times small Black-owned businesses get swept under the rug. In creating this event, I wanted to make sure that we highlight them as well as celebrate the progress we have made as people from officially gaining our freedom in 1865,” Curtis said.

Curtis said local business owners have been very receptive to getting involved in the event. As of the LDN’s interview, 15 businesses had registered to participate.

“I’ve spoken with many owners, and they’ve offered to do discounts. The event is free to attend but if attendees buy a wristband for $10 they will get all the discounts that come along with it,” Curtis said.

“Every owner has exceeded my expectations. A lot of times they’ve praised me when I wasn’t looking for praise. I’m looking to praise them, and they’ve praised me for having the thought to bring something like this to fruition for them. It’s been a give-and-take relationship, but it’s been beautiful.”

Curtis said towards the end of the night, he plans to have a free firework show to end the event with a bang.

“With how receptive the businesses have been and the general excitement I have seen from both business owners and those wanting to come out, I want to make this an annual event,” Curtis said. “Anytime we can come together to support one another and remember where we have come from and where we are now is always worth celebrating. “

For more information on the Juneteenth Business Crawl visit, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092262294543.