Juneteenth is now a state holiday in Virginia. Elegba Folklore Society describes The History of Juneteenth as a freedom celebration that became a tradition when, on June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger sailed into Galveston harbor and issued a proclamation that gave freedom to a quarter of a million blacks in Texas who were still in bondage 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation that President Abraham Lincoln issued was enacted on January 1, 1863. The tradition is so firmly rooted in Texas that it was made a state holiday in 1980, and Juneteenth has come to be regarded as the earliest African American holiday.
The freedom message reached different parts of America on various dates between 1863 and 1865, such as January 1 in Virginia, but migrated black Texans continued the Juneteenth celebration as they moved to cities in the North and across the country. Today, this holiday is observed from California to New York. Therefore, an instructive way of uniting these commemorations in a day of national importance is through Juneteenth National Freedom Day.
There are numerous events in Richmond to celebrate Juneteenth that are open to the public.
•There’s a group meeting at The Devil’s Half Acre (Lumpkins Jail) on Friday to show unity.
•Rapper Trey Songz is holding a candlelight vigil at the Lee Monument on Friday, June 19 at 7:30 pm and a Father’s Day Bike Ride at Bryan Park on Sunday, June 21 at 9am.
•Juneteenth Unity March, Goochland High, 3250 River Rd W, Goochland, Virginia 23063
Friday, June 19, 2020 at 6 PM – 8 PM at the Goochland High School for a peaceful unity march for Juneteenth and to support justice and equality for all. Juneteenth also know as Freedom Day in the black community, dates back to June 19th, 1865 when the remaining enslaved people where made aware of the Emancipation Proclamation two and a half years after it was signed. “Juneteenth today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development…Getting involved and supporting Juneteenth celebrations creates new bonds of friendship and understanding among us. This indeed, brightens our future” Signs are encouraged. Absolutely NO vulgarity or profanity will be tolerated. Social distancing encouraged as we will be march to and from locations. Let us march for unity and growth as a community!
•Juneteenth 2020, A Freedom Celebration – Live Stream sponsored by the Elegba Folklore Society – Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 5 PM – 8 PM – LINK HERE
Elegba Folklore Society will present Juneteenth 2020, A Freedom Celebration virtually from Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday, June 20 at 5p. The theme, Independence Day Our Way, invites attendees to have a good time at a holiday backyard party, to engage in culture and history, to circle up in community, feel empowered, feel joyful and consider what matters. The platforms will be Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo. The event will feature performances by Plunky Branch, Sam Reed and Elegba Folklore Society’s African dancers and drummers with theatrical performances featuring J. Ron Fleming. Attendees can enjoy cooking demonstrations and tastings, shopping, of course, ceremonies, craft making for children and the Get Woke Youth Summit, commentaries, some cameo appearances from our international family and an Independence Day Our Way musical blend by celebrity music meister, DJ Drake keeping the party going in the backyard. Juneteenth, A Freedom Celebration is Virginia’s flagship Juneteenth holiday commemoration. First presented in 1996, it is reflective of Richmond and Virginia’s particular and poignant stories of enslavement and emancipation, and it highlights the resolve and resilience of Africa’s children in America. Richmond is ground zero with regards to the country’s evolution in its racial mores, disparities and hierarchies. Juneteenth 2020, A Freedom Celebration will be a vital part of our community’s reset and healing.
*Rally at Virginia Union University*
There are many ways to celebrate Juneteenth on your own, with friends or as a family in Richmond:
•Visit the Self-guided Richmond Slave Trail that details the events and atrocities during the brutal and savage time of slavery and the emersion out of
•Check out resources at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center ,
•Read the Richmond Free Press.
•Read about the history of Juneteenth from the archives of the Library of Virginia as well as other documented experiences from the LoVA’s collection including the curated Virginia Untold: the African American Narrative Digital Collection.
•Visit the Richmond Slave Trail.
•Listen to podcasts by Black Richmonders to hear their point of view.
•Visit in real life or online presidential sites in Virginia to learn about the people of African descent who they enslaved.
•View the many vibrant murals in Richmond that depict the Black experience in Jackson ward and beyond.
•Support a Black owned restaurant by enjoying a meal there or for take out.
•Visit, support and patronize a Black owned business. Check out the members of the Metropolitan Business League.
Wishing everyone a joyous Juneteenth!
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