A Community Celebrates Old Connections

A neighborhood is still celebrating after Saturday’s annual “Back on the Day Festival.” Safiya Mohamed was there.

Southside Minneapolis neighbors are celebrating community after Saturday’s “11th annual “Back in the Day” festival held in Phelps Park in Minneapolis.

The event included games, activities, vendor markets, and live music by the Grammy-award winning group ‘Sounds of Blackness’.

The theme for this year’s event was “what about the children?” Lisa Crawford, the founder of the event, said gatherings like this will show young people the importance of being in community with one another.

“I think we just need to pass the baton to our kids, and let them know we are able to get together, have a good time, fellowship, and just have a good time,” Crawford said.

Many attendees expressed the joy of being in a space that celebrates community. J. Darnell Johnson, a local author, said he was excited to see old friends and loved ones after a year of being apart due to COVID-19.

“We’re refreshing friendships, renewing vows, Johnson said.  “Coming together in ways that only the people who grew up here would recognize because we got some stories to tell.”

Crawford created the event 11 years ago out of her backyard. It began as a space for neighbors to come together and celebrate each other.

Sometimes, we only get together when we’re going to funerals, and then we haven’t seen each other for a while,” Crawford said.  “So we just thought, you know, come on over to our house and let’s have a good time in our backyard, and then we’ve lived a block away and it outgrew our backyard so now we’re here, and 11 years later we’re still going strong.

This year’s celebration was even more meaningful because the festival did not happen last year because of COVID-19.

Photo Credit: Phil Ward


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