Florida A&M University alumna Dr. Sandra Thompson, is bringing the history back to Tallahassee. The first annual Juke Joint Jam Florida (JJJF) event is set to celebrate the cultural traditions of north Florida’s Legacy Communities.
“The goal of this event is to celebrate and recognize those communities around Leon County,” Thompson said. “This event is going to allow people of color and others to sew into something that’s going to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors while having fun at the same time.”
The name “Juke Joint Jam” stems from the local juke joints that use to be present all over Tallahassee. The event is an agro-tourism event that is three days long built on the history of Gadsden, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon and Madison County. These five counties all represent the largest plantation counties in north Florida.
“It was how African-Americans made their own income while maintaining their culture. I felt like the name would be familiar and something people would be able to relate too,” Thompson said as she explained the name “Juke Joint Jam.”
After leaving Tallahassee for a few years, Thompson came back only to notice that the communities she grew up in had changed. With this in mind, the festivities for JJJF will celebrate the communities while also preserving their history.
“Communities were separated. There were developments on the land of people I knew. There was a true disconnect,” Thompson said.
Mike Monroe, a Florida A&M University alumnus, is also assisting Thompson in the extravaganza who said, “This is an event that is needed. It will be both educational and fun.”
Angelo Logan, a cross country runner, will be hosting a 5K run and fun walk during the event. Logan believes the event will make a difference.
“I want to bring awareness to living a healthy lifestyle,” Logan said. “What Dr. Thompson is doing, is very important. Not everyone knows the history and this will help bridge that gap.”
You can also expect to see a fish fry, crab boil, vendors, a juke joint themed concert, a firework show, a baseball and softball competition and much more throughout the three days.
A significant portion of the proceeds from the JJJF event will be going towards youth scholarships, financial support to assist the elderly with home repairs, to advocate for veterans and their families and other use in the local communities.
With an expectancy of 10,000 people, the Juke Joint Jam Florida will be June 1-3, 2018 at the Barrington Field in Lloyd, Florida