Grads, dads, pride, Black music in mid-year calendar

It’s June.

The month claimed by graduates, fathers, brides and grooms, the LGBT community, Black music and Caribbean nationals as well as numerous groups anxiously anticipating the hottest season of every calendar year.

It’s the time of year students are rewarded for their hard work with a square-shaped hat, a garb representing perseverance of spirit and studious investment of time that should ensure a promising future.

Dressed in robes identifying achievement June grads walk a path to acceptance of the prized parchment that seals the end of waiting for the arrival of the mid-year calendar month.

It is also the month — dedicated by a single day, June 12 this year — to fathers.

Hopefully on this day, the male of the species will be afforded accolades for heading families, nurturing children and providing stability to households.

Many will be praised for raising their offspring most will be thanked for being role models.

Each of the 30 days seems to unite loved ones, particularly lovers wanting to make a public statement about their blissful compatibility. Marriage not only ties the knot but for one reason or another June has traditionally been chosen as the timeframe when couples agree that brides are the prettiest and grooms tend to look their spiffiest.

Gay pride is exhibited throughout the entire month of June as the signature month to demonstrate with a rainbow colored flag and throngs of individuals that identify with the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community.

A Pride Day is highlighted during the month by parades and revelry.

According to, the annual event is celebrated “to bring awareness to transgender people and their identities as well as recognize those that helped fight for rights for transgender people.”

A parade in June in Manhattan, throughout the nation and around the globe annually showcases the diversity that represents the demography.

Another notable occurrence this month will be a global gathering in Russia which is expected to satiate the appetite of soccer fans who have anticipated another world cup contest since FIFA staged an international competition between the best ballers from every continent in Brazil four years ago.

The quadrennial sports spectacle begins June 14 when Russia plays Saudi Arabia to kickoff the world’s most popular game.

Costa Rica will face-off against Serbia on June 17; Brazil versus Costa Rica on June 22 and Panama will play Russia on June 24.

The month-long competition is slated to end on July 15 in Moscow.

Independence for African Americans dates June 19, 1865 as Emancipation or Freedom Day. Acknowledged as Juneteenth, June 19 is the date rituals and ceremonial activities recall the pain and suffering that scars an entire race captured from Africa by Europeans to be sold as property and held in bondage for centuries.

Juneteenth is the oldest celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Another annual June staple continues a tradition of pride in heritage and liberation from slavery with a lead into the 47th Annual International African Arts festival in Brooklyn at Commodore Barry Park. It begins on the very last day of June with a kickoff to five days of pre-independence celebration and salute to African heritage and culture. This year highlights Dakawowo, a word from the Ewe and mina people of Ghana and Togo that translates to meaning solidarity.

Always evident and annually vividly displayed to preview the July 4 Independence Day festivities include artistry and talent from Africa and the Caribbean. Elida Almeida from Cape Verde Islands, Reggie Workman Ensemble, Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago and Cuba’s Oyu Oro are the first night presenters.

Trinidad & Tobago’s David Rudder is slated to headline the July 3 showcase, which includes The Originals, Bambara Drum & Dance ensemble and Don Adolfo y su Conjunto Fantasia Cubanas.

It’s also Black Music Month, the timeframe that a myriad of genres are heralded by radio, television and a plethora of concert staging.

From jazz to rhythm and blues, reggae, calypso, rock n roll, hip-hop, musical legends past and present will be hailed with tributes.

Similarly, the multi-cultural diversity of English, Spanish, Dutch, and French peoples from Asia, Europe and Africa will again celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month with a myriad of tributes. Food, music and dance will highlight many events as well as symposium, award presentations, fashion shows and sporting events.

Panamanians are hosting a salute to media on June 24. Yours truly is among the honorees representing the fourth estate. An award ceremony is slated from 6-11 pm at Glen Terrace Caterers, 5313 Ave. in Brooklyn.

The first month of summer also signals the start of the hurricane season, a long period of worry for Caribbean nationals and residents of many eastern states north and south in America.

Catch You On The Inside!

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