JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds of people gathered Saturday on Jacksonville’s Eastside for a Melanin Market to celebrate Juneteenth.
The event is designed to promote Black businesses, one of the ways people celebrate Juneteenth by putting money back into their communities.
Saturday marked the fifth annual Juneteenth Melanin Market and featured about 50 vendors.
Young and old entrepreneurs showcased their crafts and took over A. Philip Randolph Boulevard.
Hundreds of people came out to support the vendors who included businesses ranging from food and arts and crafts to clothing. There were also people addressing voting rights and signing people up to vote.
The co-organizer of the event, state Rep. Angie Nixon, talked about why this day is so significant, especially for Black businesses.
“It means that we can start to take back our power and just really control our destiny,” Nixon said. “We can proclaim to everyone that we deserve to be here in this country. "
The sense of joy was visible Saturday as you walked down the street lined with vendors and lots of people smiling and happy to be there supporting one another.
For those who couldn’t make Saturday’s market, they are held every quarter. The next one will be in either August or September.
Organizers also encourage everyone to support Black businesses every day.