Leimert Park Rising was an event for the culture and will be remembered for a long time. Black businesses, Black people coming together, honoring Juneteenth was needed as a reminder of the synergy that Blacks create when united as one. The event was organized by Ill Camille; she was blown away by the support she received from her team and also the community.
The energy surrounded Leimert Park filled the African American community with love and hope for brighter days. For many people in the community, Leimert Park has always been a hub for people to shop and bond with each other.
On the South section of the event, the Pray for the Hood stage hosted various artists with a common goal of solidarity, love, and ownership. “This was arguably one of the most monumental events of the year, says Jimetta Rose of Voices of Creation. One moment during the performance breaks, everyone was chanting Queen Latifah’s lyrics U-N-I-T-Y in solidarity.
Rose and the Voices of Creation gave a remarkable performance. Rose says, “Were honored to be here today. Black excellence is what this means. Joy despite the circumstances is available and we always find it.” She continues, “Lifting my voice in the name of my ancestors. Joyful rebellion and love is what’s going to see us through and give us the energy to give, so it’s wonderful to see everybody get recharged.”
L.A. legend DJ Battlecat interviewed with the Los Angeles Sentinel and expressed his passion for being a voice for the younger generation. “What it feels and what it is and what it means to be a part of this is monumental for the Black people. All the contributions that I’ve been able to give to this community, and for them to receive and appreciate it in this day and time, is an honor and I will continue to be positive, great and humble with that.”
There are many young people who need a voice right now; DJ Battlecat acknowledges how he’s leading the way and will support them unconditionally.
“It’s a new generation that’s here right now and they need a voice. So, to be here is to let them know that we love them unconditionally. That’s a hard thing to do but so necessary because they’ve been alienated for so long without a voice. Coming here to commune with my community is a blessing. I’m glad to be here to let them know I support them by any means,” says Battlecat.
Many artists and entrepreneurs who were vendors are from the Leimert Park community. The poet, Prince of the Ghetto from Cypher Complete, spoke on what it means to celebrate Juneteenth at Leimert Park. “We purchase our books here in Leimert Park and I’m a young poet from here, so I got inspired seeing all older poets. I appreciate this festival because we’re able to be out here and build with each other and work towards greater success.”
Upcoming rapper, Camgnar interviewed with the Los Angeles Sentinel and shared his thoughts on being a part of Leimert Park rising. “What it means for me to be here as a performer, after being in quarantine for three months, there’s no better way I would like to celebrate with the community.” Camgnar says, “It’s symbolic that we freed ourselves from quarantine to come out here and support each other and celebrate Black freedom.”
In appreciation for his efforts of activism and organizing events that empower and unify Leimert Park community, event co-organizer, attorney, Jaaye Person-Lynn presented Dom Kennedy with the Ben Caldwell award. Kennedy wasn’t able to make the event because of prior obligations; he still sent a powerful message to encourage the community read by RJ Lewis. This Juneteenth celebration for Black independence was an essential gathering for people to release the hate, anger and fear, and to be filled with love. As such, we made the city a safer place, said Person-Lynn.
“What I can encourage you to do is find your truth. Sacrifice anything that is not productive to get what you want out of life. I would like to thank my family. They’re the ones that have sacrificed in order for me to live my dreams. My music is debatable but my sincerity is not. To Leimert Park be the glory,” says Dom Kennedy.
He paid homage to the late Nipsey as well. “I’ve met so many great people all over the planet. One in particular. I will never forget. I wouldn’t be telling you the truth if I said I wasn’t a fan of the homie Nipsey Hussle. By the time we got to work, I was prepared. The one thing about Nipsey I will always remember most is his courage and willingness to uplift anybody in the neighborhood.”