SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Juneteenth weekend is set to take off at noon on Friday. This will be the first time in two years Syracuse will celebrate in person due to the pandemic. Although the overarching theme is celebrating equality, freedom and opportunity, this year is also focusing on Black-owned businesses.
Syracuse Juneteenth Board of Directors Member Bridget McCarthy says the stage this year is for small businesses that don’t always get the chance to shine.
“It’s really important this year since we’ve been off for two years due to the pandemic to be able to come back together celebrate entrepreneurship because it seems like almost everyone got a business and just to rejoin that sense of family we had in the city of Syracuse,” said McCarthy.
Omolara Adeleye, owner of Ara African Couture, says that this platform means everything.
“It has not been easy,” said Adeleye. “It has not been easy, let me say that, but I am someone that always acknowledged God with everything I do because he brought me this far.”
Adeleye is not the only black business owner proud to have this platform. Tykemia Carman, owner of Crave Dessert Studio, says it’s perfect for highlighting Black representation.
“I love spicing up the baking community,” said Carman. “Just because most of the people don’t look like me that are bakers so it is great to have that representation and have like brown skin cookies and just all different things that represent our culture and like you said have children come in and get excited to see cookies that look like them it’s great so.”