On June 19, 1865, troops in Galveston, Texas told slaves they were free long after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, two and half years prior. Annually, we celebrate June 19th to recognize the end of slavery in Texas. On the 17th of June 2021, Juneteenth became an official federal holiday.
The 6th annual Juneteenth celebration on June 17, 2023, hosted by the Brazoria County MLK Celebration Committee, and the Brazoria County NAACP at the Pearland Town Center, featured around 34 vendors ranging from black-owned businesses, small businesses, and highly favored businesses, eight different sponsors, food trucks, and live performances. This annual event provided an opportunity to promote black businesses, and to bring the community together while receiving education on the federal holiday.
Morgan Rue, a 15-year-old baker created Munchies by Morgan two years ago in 2021. Morgan grew up with a strong love for baking in Cleveland, Ohio before pursuing it in Texas some years ago. “When I was younger, I had an EZ bake oven,” Morgan said, “and my dad is a chef, so I think it’s just me following in his footsteps.” With an entrepreneurial family, it only felt right for Morgan to start her very own company within her main interest. Her tent at the event featured her very own homemade cookies, cupcakes, and most popularly her cake pops. Morgan says she’s been able to promote and market her business at the event. “I’ve met a lot of different and new people,” she stated. “I really love the connection. It’s been very nice.”
Living in Beauty is an African company that sells hand-carved college and university fraternity African-style masks, homemade pure shea butter with various scents, hand-carved decorations, and more. It has been in business for five years with the main goal being to support mothers back home in Ghana, as Living in Beauty’s products are hand made by a single mother there. The crafts are taken back to America from the mother in Ghana and sold where the profits are all given back to the mother back home. Jerine Bates, a Living in Beauty salesperson, too experienced a successful day at the Juneteenth event. “It’s been great! I’ve met some great people,” says Bates, and “I’ve some working connections so it’s been nice.”
Monica Lynn has been taking desserts to a different level with her company Unique Affair since 2020. “I used to love to bake, and I used to always bake for my family, and it motivated me to do a business and,” Lynn stated. “I make my desserts from scratch. It’s therapeutic to me.” Lynns tent featured many flavors of banana puddings and cheesecakes from confetti to peach. “Caramel, Oreo, peach, you name it I make it.”