The Art and Words of Freedom

“Free-ish: a poetic arts commemoration for Juneteenth” was a profound cultural contemplation through visual art and spoken word

The 2023 Juneteenth observations came with wide anticipation and pride. Black people all over the nation paused to celebrate and commemorate the date in 1865 where enslaved people in Galveston Texas were informed by Union Army Commanders that they were indeed free. While the weekend was full of festivals and concerts, Kalimba Song Coffee Company teamed up with DreamKreator Studio, Still Water Network and Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen to present a deeply contemplative arts expression for the day.

Free-is: a poetic arts celebration for Juneteenth took place on Saturday June 17 at Dulan’s Next Door, an intimate and unique event space next to Inglewood’s famed Soul Food Kitchen. A lineup of renowned spoken word artists from the community came through to share verses that spoke directly to our freedom and current situations facing the Black Community.

In a nod to the history of Texas, the event started off with music from Mike Mann and his brand of “Cowboy Soul”… it was quite dope. He was accompanied by the lovely Coco Evans. The spoken word was paired with a small yet amazing art showing from three of Southern California’s top black artists. Buena Johnson is one of LA’s well known visual artists and she did not disappoint with her exceptionally conscious style on display. Leimert Park’s Mohamed Mubarak decided to share freedom and consciousness through his oil tribute to Stevie Wonder. The exhibit was underscored by a powerful digital art presentation called “Say Their Name” a projected image expression of actual enslave people. “we want people to know that the enslaved were real human beings. They had names. They were.”, said Rhonda Love of DreamKreator Studio. ” It was an honor to create featured art for the first annual “Free-ish” Juneteenth community gathering that was both inspiring and reflective.”

Free-ish: a poetic arts celebration for Juneteenth was produced by the Hannibal Media Group with sponsorship from the Kalimba Song Coffee Company.