Public service isn't just in the blood of Florida State Representative Dwight M. Bullard, it's in the very marrow of his being. The two-term lawmaker's District 118 seat (previously held by both his mother, current State Senator Larcenia J. Bullard, and his father, Edward B. Bullard) has been in the family for 20 years. And, like his parents, he prefaced his political career by serving as an educator, as well as a community activist. Now running for his own State Senate seat, Bullard remains determined to ensure folks neither forget where they come from or how far they've come. That's why he's marking the abolition-tied holiday Juneteenth by celebrating DJ Self Born's stepping up into the owner's box at Love Hate. See. You. There.
What's Juneteenth mean to you and yours? Juneteenth has been something that I have individually celebrated for a number of years. I became aware of it in high school and have celebrated it in college, as well as out. I really enjoyed sharing it with my students as an African American History teacher and now I hope to make it an annual celebration.
Why have you decided to mark this year's occasion at Love Hate? I thought it appropriate to mark the celebration at Love Hate because Gregg's ownership is a major milestone as black-owned businesses go in Miami and the venue and the timing of the holiday are a perfect fit.
How'd you two first come to connect? Gregg and I met several years ago when he was the in-house DJ at another event I frequented. Since then we have become good friends.
Isn't there a kind of unofficial third component to the holiday throwdown? Outside of the recognition of the holiday, as well as Black Music Month, I am using the event to heighten voter awareness and to bring attention to my upcoming State Senate campaign.
What made you wanna swing from House to Senate? I view the Senate as a larger platform to bring greater awareness to the major issues affecting the community. Sometimes that gets lost in the crowded House.
So your mom didn't make you do it? LOL... No, she has been a great role model though and if I can measure up to her during her time in office, I am doing alright.
Your dad must've had something to say about it though, no? Not really. They both have encouraged me to follow my own path and he, like my Mom, definitely provided insight and wisdom from his service in the Florida House.
Any plans of making Self Born your official campaign DJ? He has been since I first ran, no point in changing that now.
Would it be fair to say this Juneteenth is gonna be the start of something even bigger -- for the both of you? This Juneteenth is definitely the tipping point to greater things for the both of us, but what more can you expect from two guys born on February 4th?
Love Hate celebrates Juneteenth with State Representative Dwight M. Bullard, DJ Self Born and more on Tuesday June 19th, from 5-10pm. Admission is free.