Parade celebrates Black History Month


Javier Valdes

Assistant News Editor

The community of Bakersfield celebrated Black History Month with a parade and festival in Bakersfield’s downtown area on Saturday, Feb. 27.
The event closed down streets to celebrate the annual festivities of entertainment, food, and community.
The parade included dance teams, step teams, motorcycles, cars, church groups and horses in a two-hour celebration.
The festivities were surrounded by the powerful theme: “Reclaiming our culture, preserving our history, restoring our pride.”
Many of those celebrating Black History Month felt that preserving the history of the black culture was of significant importance.
Edna White can’t remember the last time she didn’t attend the annual festivities.
“It’s very important to know not just about the parade, but about the history,” said White. “Many kids don’t know that history anymore.”
And in fact many of the parade attendants felt that the youth were out of touch with their roots and that these events help the younger generations keep in touch with their culture.
Rene Doughton was a first-time attendant of the celebration and she expressed her thoughts on the importance that these events can have on the youth.
“These kids need to know who they are and know their roots and where they come from,” said Doughton. “This event does that.”
For some, the event has become a family tradition. Dinoshea Bailey attends the event every year and used to march in the parade when she was younger.
“During my teen years I used to march in the parade, my grandfather…used to ride horses (in the parade),” said Bailey.
Even though Bailey stopped performing in the parade back in 2006, she continues to be a loyal attendant and comes out to support every year in remembrance of her now deceased grandfather.
In fact, Bailey has recently started bringing along her kids and making this event a family affair.
“My first time taking them was last year, and since then they (her kids) keep asking when the day that people drive and dance in the street is coming,” said Bailey.
Some of the attendants enjoyed the community of people that gathered together at the downtown festivities.
Jewel Adams felt that the event did a great job of getting people together and hopes that these type of events happen more often.
Lakeisha Herron attends the event every year and expressed her thoughts on the importance of the event.
“Getting the community together to show different support of African Americans and showing different cultures is of such importance,” said Lakisha Herron.
The annual parade followed with a festival at the Gardens at Mill Creek, concluding the day’s festivities.