During the 2nd annual Juneteenth block party in College Park, Georgia, gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams surprised the audience of small black businesses with words of encouragement. College Park business owners and block party hosts, Jovan Dais, Scott Corbin and Don Bratton mobilized this year’s celebration to empower small business owners in the city.
“Our block party isn’t about our restaurant, it’s a collaborative effort with other Black small business owners with the mission of being a resource for College Park and the surrounding areas,” Jovan Dais shares.
The mission of the block party resonated with Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams who made a surprise appearance to encourage and offer support to the entrepreneurs participating in the block party. Dais, Bratton and Corbin also awarded legendary Atlanta producer Aldrin “DJ Toomp” with the Black Excellence Icon award for his creative and community-based contributions throughout his career.
“I know first hand the challenges many small business owners face,” Abrams shared with the group of twenty-plus business owners and entrepreneurs.
Abrams spoke candidly with the crowd about her personal experiences running a tax business and referred to her current work helping small businesses retain the financing needed to stay afloat. Abrams spoke of a bright future while referencing the importance of the holiday.
“Today, we celebrate the emancipation of Black Americans and honor those who fought for this nation to live up to its founding ideals of liberty and equality for all. May we honor their legacies through action — building a world fueled by justice and steeped in equity,” Abrams said.
Abrams then joined College Park Mayor Bianca Motley Broom in presenting Aldrin “DJ Toomp” Davis with the Black Excellence Icon award. DJ Toomp was emotional accepting the award from Aye Tea Elle as his career is entwined with the owners in several ways.
“Today was incredible. It was a special honor to receive this award from Aye Tea Elle with Stacy Abrams. She shared some powerful words with the community today. What a great way to celebrate our first official Juneteenth,” he shared.
The Aye Tea Elle Juneteenth Block party included the following local small businesses; A Step Above the Rest, Bellies and Beards Kitchen, Enchanted Branding & PR, MAC Entertainment, Tenderheadz Children’s Salon, Cycle gang Fitness studio, Pink Ice salon, Precision athletics, The Collar, Majestea, My Familie’s Italian Ice, Rachelle’s Creative Dishes.