The early morning ride to the West Broad Farmers Market Juneteenth celebration wasn’t bad. Traffic was light, and the temperature hovered around seventy degrees. As volunteers, farmers, artists, bakers and others prepared, Travis, the Community Agriculture Director, set me up with a tent next to the MEU Radio booth. According to the organization’s website, “MEU (Music, Education, Uplift) Radio – Athens is here to entertain, inform and motivate the youth of Athens, GA. Our goal is to help free them from the stranglehold of poverty by pouring messages into the community that will ignite the light to a path of positive and prosperous living.”
While curious readers from all walks of life stopped to share stories and choose books, the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement’s Mokah-Jasmine Johnson performed a few songs of empowerment. Next came Athens’ own hip hop artists L.G. and BlackNerdNinja, followed by local poet Synergistic Sierra, who shared a few poems with musical accompaniment.
Twenty-eight books were given away, and community connections were formed. From social justice activists working to end poverty, to locavores promoting sustainable farming practices (and now literacy), the West Broad Farmers Market is a good fit for the Bibliobike, which will return on most Saturdays throughout the summer.
Explore Joshua L. Jones’ photos of the the celebration for the Athens Banner-Herald here.
On a sweltering day last summer at Broad Acres, a woman told me the West Broad Farmers Market would be perfect for the Bibliobike. So I took her advice and pedaled there two Saturdays ago to get a feel for the route and turnout. After buying some tasty beets and kohlrabi from R&R Secret Farms, I met a kind member of the Athens Land Trust team named Travis, the Community Agriculture Director. Brief introductions and a few emails led to today’s test ride with the rig, the first of the year…
I tightened up some bolts, pumped up the tires, hitched the rig to the bike, then headed south along Chase Street. Cruising down Hancock was fun, but crossing West Broad was unavoidable (and a bit stressful). Once the light turned green, I decided to ride along a short stretch of sidewalk to avoid cars racing past at 40+ miles per hour. The return trip uphill worried me most, but it wasn’t bad. The Plaza looked like less of an incline compared to Hancock or Glenhaven, so I inched my way back up to Chase. The route wasn’t as difficult as last summer’s trips to Garnet Ridge, so the West Broad Farmers Market will be the first Bibliobike stop of 2019.
The market will celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday, June 15th. Juneteenth is an annual holiday when people around the country celebrate the end of slavery in the United States, so why not celebrate by empowering kids with literature? Starting June 15th, the Bibliobike will join sustainability and community-oriented folks at the market on Saturdays from 9:00-1:00.
More delivery locations are in the works, so stay tuned and spread the word!