Sunday, June 26, 2022
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Honor Thy Father Celebration Held on Juneteenth
By Cora Jackson-Fossett, Managing Editor
Published June 23, 2022

From left (top) Gerry Foster, Pearl Jr., Asia Oliver, Ralph Oliver, (front) Lorenzo Frank, Joann Gardner, Nzinga Frank,Dr. Rosie Milligan , Denise Estelle, Donovan Lavendar, and Dennis Deloach. (Sony’e Vandenberg)

The annual Honor Thy Father Awards featured a different vibe this year with the program held on an outside stage instead of the traditional sit-down dinner.

With African Town in L.A.’s Leimert Park as the venue, the show took place on June 19, which was observed throughout the country as both Father’s Day and Juneteenth.  According to HTF founder Denise Estelle, the scores of people in attendance celebrated both holidays during the awards program.

“It was a wonderful culmination of Father’s Day, Juneteenth, and family,” said Estelle. “Gerry Foster and Pearl Jr. were the emcees and they hosted a segment called ‘Words from the Heart.’

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“Family members came on stage with each honoree, and gave the reason that their dad is amazing. It was just a beautiful opportunity to share.”

The highlights included a poetic salute to their father by Dennis Deloach and JoAnn Gartner, a memorial tribute by Lora King in honor of her father, Rodney King, and soliloquy on the effects of an absent father as shared by Estelle.   Also, percussionist Clarence “Chazz” Ross delivered a stirring performance using drums and chimes.

“I looked around and saw tears around me and tt was beautifully captivating,” said Rochel Disi.

“This Juneteenth and Father’s Day Celebration was the best event I’ve ever been to!”

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