JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
"My instrument is a djembe drum, it's a West African drum that originates in some places like Mali West Africa, but the name of the drum means come let's gather together," says Jerry Jenkins. He has gathered an ensemble together at Battlefield Park in Jackson to demonstrate traditional West African music.
"We have a traditional group of six drums, and we have a lot of young drummers that's playing, people that are gonna sing, dance, chakras," he says.
Dance is a big part of their demonstration.
"The dance we're doing today is going to be Lamban. Lamban is a celebratory dance because we have a reason to celebrate today," says performer Chiquila Pearson.
That reason to celebrate is Juneteenth, June 19, which recognizes the end of slavery in the United States. It's been celebrated since 1865, and it's becoming a bigger event in Jackson each year.
The City of Jackson participated in this year's event, which took place on Saturday.
"We helped to get sound in here, helped to get artists as well, tents that are out here for some of the vendors to use," says City of Jackson Marketing Specialist Brad "Kamikaze" Franklin. "We're going to take a huge and active role going forward in this and any of the other events that are culturally connected with this diverse city that we have."
The day at the park included attractions for all ages, good food and drink.