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Juneteenth in East Baltimore: Celebrating freedom by giving back

Posted at 11:20 PM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 23:26:09-04

Juneteenth is being celebrated across the country to commemorate the end of slavery.

In the Bel Air Edison neighborhood of East Baltimore people were out making a difference.

To the naked eye it may look like just a couple people having a BBQ, but what's happening there is a movement by the people to take back their neighborhood.

 “It’s a day of freedom, it’s a day of unity,” said Dwayne Bimbo Jr. “One of the things I try to tell and emphasis is you’ve got 365 days in a year, why can’t you shut down on specific days and go and give back.”

Dwayne Bimbo Jr. hires young people to work for his concession company.

He also raises money to help vulnerable youth with transportation and equipment so they can be involved play sports.

Prison and the mentors he met while inside turned his life around.

“My grind is emphasizing and structures on so many people that will never be able to make it out here to spend time with their family,” said Bimbo Jr.

It’s a spot where PFK Boom and his group Gathering All Nations Gaining Salvation Through Advancing Society or 300 Gangstas sets up every day.

 “We knew there was a lot of blood on the ground in East Baltimore,” said Boom. “We came together and decided we needed to do something. So, we took over a park in East Baltimore and it just happened to be this one. We named it ourselves called it the Peoples Park because everything is about power to the people. Anything we do we don’t get grants, we’re not sent by the Mayor, were sent by a need. We go by the drive of the pain.”

On Juneteenth Boom was on the grill cooking burgers for any young men or women that came out hungry.

Bimbo was making refreshing snow cones and helping to clean up the area.

Celebrating the end of slavery and working towards a more equal and unified future.

 “So, doing snowballs is something I always wanted to do as a child,” said Bimbo Jr.  “I told myself once I got released from prison once I come out a couple of things I didn’t do I’m going to the best of my capabilities.”

Project Clean Streets celebrating the freedom to give back by cleaning up the park.

“Continue the legacy, this is our history all of our history as Americans,” said Marques Dent the leader of Project Clean Streets. “We must know from whence we came otherwise we won’t know where we’re going in the future.”