Arizona's seemingly unwavering pursuit of becoming America's most racist state is only occasionally thwarted by the potential threat of lost revenue, particular in the form of major sporting events. It took losing a Super Bowl before we played nice with MLK Day advocates, then SB 1070 nearly cost us Major League Baseball's 2011 All-Star game. Now, with 42 states officially recognizing Juneteenth as a defining moment in American history, Arizonans can only hope that a major sporting event comes along to pressure us into becoming number 43.
In the meantime, the Valley Of The Sun Juneteenth Freedom Fest is the most effective way to show solidarity with those calling for state recognition of the holiday. And if a bit of well-intentioned haranguing won't do, maybe the allure of live music, food, and a slew of family-friendly activities will do the trick.
This year's Freedom Fest takes place at 5 p.m. at South Mountain Community College, 7050 South 24th Street, on Saturday, June 15. Admission is, appropriately, free. Visit www.phxjuneteenth.com for details.