The community of Bakersfield comes together for the Black History Month Parade


Mariah Arviso, Reporter

Bakersfield held its annual Black History Month parade, which started downtown on 21st and V Street, on Feb. 29.

The parade featured many local schools and organizations around Bakersfield. Many of the groups featured dancing, chanting, and music. Bakersfield’s Mayor, Karen Goh, participated in the parade as well as Centennial High School, McKinley Elementary School, Jerusalem Mission Community, and many more.

The streets were packed with crowds shouting for the various groups. The surrounding businesses and houses had people coming out to watch the parade as well as those coming from a different area of the town.

Halfway through the parade, there was a section where different vendors set up their booths in order to promote their business or sell food and merchandise to the community.  There was also a DJ provided, where many of the dance groups stopped to entertain everyone. As the parade ended, the vendors’ area filled up with the parade participants and locals.

“We got a new committee and they are going to start doing more things within the community so that people can come together more often and represent Bakersfield in a positive way,” community member, Ladonna Robertson said.

The parade allowed for the community to show the diversity of Bakersfield in a controlled and positive way. Many people of a different race came out to watch and support those participating in the parade.

“We want to celebrate our heritage,” Robertson said. “Black people, in general, are overlooked or not recognized enough, and we want to show our pride in our community”

The Black History Month parade happens every year so that the African American community can represent their culture in a positive manner.

“The African American community hasn’t been represented in the best way over the years, so the parade gave them the opportunity to show that everything presented by the media doesn’t stop them from embracing their culture, parade committee member,” Sakeenah McKenzie, said.

“As diverse as Bakersfield is, many people from the audience felt that the African American community isn’t represented as much as they should be, so many of them were expressing their happiness about having a parade dedicated to their community,” Sigma Gamma Roh Sorority member said.

“We have a lot of history, talent, and love for the community, so we are happy to continue organizing the parade every year,” McKenzie said.

Overall, the parade was a “huge success” according to the parade committee.

Mariah Arviso
Brianna Juanatas Bowens weightlifting company showing off their muscles and weights to the crowd. The parade started at 21st and V St., and they were the fifth group to be shown.