Juneteent Re-Cap

June 19, may be an ordinary day for some but for a lot of The United States it’s also known as Juneteenth. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long overdue. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society. n 1980, Texas was the first state to establish Juneteenth as a state holiday.     

“Since the birth of Black Humboldt, (in April 2018) Dee and I have wanted to be able to bring a Juneteenth celebration to Humboldt. We both come from areas that it has always been a large scale event and something the community really looks forward to, so we wanted to be able to bring that same energy for the whole Humboldt community, but especially for African Americans and those with African dissent.” Monique Desir, Co-Founder.    

Co-Founders Mo Desir and Dionna Flecter pose for the camera.

Co-Founders Mo Desir and Dionna Flecter pose for the camera.

Black Humboldt partnered with The Eureka chapter of The NAACP and the celebration took place on Wednesday June 19th 2019. The event’s main goals were to celebrate freedom, diversity, and community.

The all-day event featured African American vendors, workshops, food, visual artists, music, performances, and entertainment for the kids.

Co-founder of Black Humboldt - Dionna Fletcher-said this day is to educate those who are unaware of the day’s history and to spread love.“To see a bunch of people of color gathered in a park is unheard of in Humboldt County which is insane but we want to make sure we continue to diversify…not in ones or twos and not in small groups but big numbers because we’re stronger together and if we can share that love and light together that’s all we desire.” https://kiem-tv.com/2019/06/19/humboldt-celebrates-juneteenth-commemorates-the-ending-of-slavery/

Black Humboldt thinks the education of African American History, Slavery, Native American History and The U.S’s war with Mexico are pivotal areas of learning necessary to diminish bias, generalizations and stereotypes surrounding minorities. Representation of minority ethnicities, especially those residing within Humboldt County, is important to maintain culture, traditions and understanding amongst the population. Inclusion is a large mission of Black Humboldt and in hosting events like Juneteenth we are able to further support the representation of the POC community within Humboldt County while educating and enriching the non-POC community in inclusive, welcoming ways. 

"Juneteenth is a day of reflection, a day of renewal, a pride-filled day.  It is a moment in time taken to appreciate the African American experience.  It is inclusive of all races, ethnicities and nationalities - as nothing is more comforting than the hand of a friend."           

"Juneteenth serves symbolically, and in reality, as a reference point from which to measure and appreciate the progress and contributions made by African Americans to this society."

"Juneteenth is a day on which honor and respect is paid for the sufferings of slavery. It is a day on which we acknowledge the evils of slavery and its aftermath.  On Juneteenth we talk about our history and realize because of it, there will forever be a bond between us."

"On Juneteenth we think about that moment in time when the enslaved in Galveston, Texas received word of their freedom.  We imagine the depth of their emotions, their jubilant dance and their fear of the unknown."

"Juneteenth is a day that we commit to each other the needed support as family, friends and co-workers.   It is a day we build coalitions that enhance African American economics." 

"On Juneteenth we come together young and old to listen, to learn and to refresh the drive to achieve. It is a day where we all take one step closer together - to better utilize the energy wasted on racism. Juneteenth is a day that we pray for peace and liberty for all." (http://juneteenth.com/aboutjuneteenth.htm)