Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Part-time Louisville Resident honored in Juneteenth Parade Richmond, CA

Part-time Louisville Resident honored in Juneteenth Parade Richmond, CA 
By Elmetra Patterson 

Melvin Davis, Grand Marshal of Juneteenth Day Parade

On Saturday, June 15, Melvin Davis was the Grand Marshal of the Juneteenth Day Parade, sponsored annually by Chevron Richmond in partnership with the NBA, and the City of Richmond, CA. Davis is grateful for the honor. At 83 years old, Melvin Davis has been a longtime community advocate in Richmond. He and his wife, Mattie Eichelberger Davis purchased a home in Louisville, MS in 2006 and live here part time. Both became founding members of Friends of Dean Park, Inc. (FODP) and continue to make a contribution to Louisville through FODP, NAACP, Winston County Voters and Education League and Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church.

As in Louisville, MS, Juneteenth Day has been celebrated in Richmond, CA annually for nearly two decades to celebrate African American Contributions, culture and to bring the community together. Mel Davis and this writer (Elmetra Patterson) served on the very first Juneteenth Day Committee in Richmond, CA. Mel has continued his participation since the beginning which is also the committee that plans the Cinco de Mayo Festival. Mel stated that he is looking for younger people to pass the baton to. He was delighted that at least 8 groups of young people participated in the parade this year.

The Juneteenth Day celebration commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and slavery was abolished.

Melvin Davis is congratulated by friends and family in Louisville, MS.