East Biloxi to celebrate Juneteenth by honoring local celebrities

Monday marks the annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, called Juneteenth, but many are kicking off the celebration early over the weekend.

The East Biloxi Community Collaborative is hosting an event from 3-8 p.m. Saturday that will include an awards ceremony to honor three “I am East Biloxi” recipients, an old-school dance contest, basketball tournament, live entertainment, voter registration and children’s activities.

Three local celebrities will be honored: James Lee of J. Lee’s Gourmet BBQ Sauce, West Harrison High School head basketball coach Tommy Searight, and Angela Davis, owner of Gulf Coast Dental Center and Divine Dentistry.

Lee will receive the award for entrepreneurship. His sauce is sold in several national chain stores like Walmart as well as local stores, and was included in gift bags at the 2016 Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

Davis will receive the award for health, and she owns several dental care locations in Gulfport and D’Iberville. “She is actively involved in the community and has a passion for children,” a press release for the event said.

Searight will receive the award for education. He teaches physical education in addition to coaching. “He finds joy in his ability to motivate and inspire the youth and to contribute to the student athlete’s overall learning experience through team work, athletic and student life skills, for the benefit of the student’s quest for success on and off the court,” the press release said.