Orange County residents turned out this weekend to celebrate the annual Black History Parade and Unity Festival, celebrated by many attendees over the weekend in downtown Anaheim on Saturday. 

The event, which was on hold due to the pandemic since 2021, was welcomed back by many community members, public agencies, public officials and participants who attended. 

This year’s festival has been held in Anaheim every year since 2011. The O.C. Black History Parade was founded by the late Helen M. Shipp and celebrated 40 years in 2020. While the local tradition began in 1980 in Santa Ana, over the years it moved to Anaheim. 

Many attendees had different reasons for attending the event, but throughout the day there were consistent calls for a more accurate depiction of the African American experience in schools, as well as recognition of the community’s contributions to the United States. 

“Black History Month is important because this is the history of the United States. The United States was built upon the blood of African Americans,” said Daisy Whitehead, a Santa Ana resident who attended the festival Saturday. “If the history books would change, and give an accurate record of Africans Americans here in the United States, there would not be a need for just Black History Month, but we would have a representation in the history books other than being slaves.”

Voice of OC sent photojournalist Jose Hernandez to the event on Saturday to take in the sights and sounds and share back with local readers. Here’s what his day looked like … 

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