JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The summer heat didn’t stop hundreds of people from attending the sixth annual Melanin Market Saturday afternoon near downtown Jacksonville.
Event organizers made sure to keep attendees cool by partnering with JTA to provide three cooling buses.
The event included food trucks, clothes, arts and crafts and plenty of entertainment for everyone.
There were about 250 vendors covering five blocks of A. Phillip Randolph. Previous vendors returned to support the market because of how well it helped grow their businesses.
Jennifer Goodwin an artist with her grandmother’s touch and the owner of Open Heart Arts and Crafts LLC.
“If I never sat down with my grandmother at the table and painted or it I never asked ‘hey, grandma, can you show me how to sew,’ I wouldn’t have been here,” Goodwin said.
Jeff Eugene started Wick Capz with specific intentions.
“We came up with the company because we want to flip the stereotypical narrative that’s surrounded by people who have these types of hairstyles as far as afros, locs, and things of that nature,” Eugene said. “If we can help uplift our culture the same way we help push others products, we’ll be able to sustain and last longer.”
The Melanin Market is one of the Juneteenth events vendors and participants said they look forward to.
People attending told News4JAX it was refreshing to see this kind of event hosted in the community because it’s an opportunity to reconnect and showcase what black businesses have to offer.
Florida Rep. Angie Nixon, organizer of the Melanin Market, said the Melanin Market should serve as a reminder of what African-Americans bring to this city and this country.
“We just want to amplify and uplift black excellence and let everyone know that Black people are resilient people. We helped found and build this country, and we have a lot to offer,” Nixon said.
If you missed any of the Saturday Juneteenth events, be sure to click here to check out the remaining events for the rest of the weekend.