Ietef Vita remembers attending the Juneteenth Music Festival growing up in Denver's historically black Five Points neighborhood. That's how he learned the holiday commemorates the moment Texas slaves heard the Civil War was over and they were free.
Vita, stage name DJ Covem Moetavation, now uses the holiday as a chance to teach kids that veggies can be fresh and fly. As a festival organizer in 2014, he brought in a farmers market and workshop on healthy eating.
The focus on food and environmental issues stuck. Vita plans to return to the festival this Saturday, along with headliners Slick Rick and DJ Moussa. Like always, he will rap about the power of food to heal communities and the planet. "Growing collard greens in your backyard like grandma used to do is a great way to avoid poverty and heart disease," he says.
Vita spoke about his music and gentrification in Five Points with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.