Juneteenth has received universal attention since becoming a federal holiday last year and the North Shore Juneteenth Association in Lynn (NSJA) kicked off the holiday with their annual flag raising ceremony at Lynn City Hall Tuesday.
Tuesday’s flag raising, and others planned for neighboring North Shore communities, will culminate in the NSJA’s annual Juneteenth Celebration at Lynn Museum on Sunday, June 19.
The Juneteenth holiday commemorates the ending of slavery in the U. S. Celebrating the holiday on June 19 gives the community a chance to learn about the positive contributions African Americans have made to society.
NSJA President Nicole McClain said a fun filled day is planned at the Lynn Museum, with an added celebration honoring fathers on Fathers Day.
Like year’s past NSJA’s celebration will include music, live performance, spoken word poetry, soul food and dance from 11 am to 5 pm at the Lynn Museum.
“There is obviously more attention on Juneteenth after it became a federal holiday,” said McClain. “Our organization has become more well known and more significant on the North Shore than when we first began. We have all these North Shore communities reaching out to us and wanting to collaborate on flag raising ceremonies and other events. I think that speaks volumes for the organization itself. Making Juneteenth a federal holiday has solidified it as something worthy of celebrating and communities are now more apt and more open to allowing flag raising celebrations to happen.”
While Juneteenth is becoming more popular McClain said the holiday is still in its beginning stages as a recognized federal holiday.
“It is definitely still in its beginning stages of popularity and something to be celebrated,” said McClain. “There are still a lot of people, including Black Americans, that still don’t even know what Juneteenth is or what the holidays symbolizes”.
With this year’s celebration falling on Fathers Day, McClain said the NSJA has added a little something extra to the holiday.
“We are planning on having a section for fathers to really salute them and highlight fatherhood in the community,” said McClain. “So bring your dads to the event.”
NSJA, founded in 2017, began the celebration of the Juneteenth holiday in the area. This holiday commemorates the ending of slavery in the U. S. Celebrating the holiday gives the community a chance to learn about the positive contributions African Americans have made to society.
Celebrated each year on June 19 the NSJA raises the Juneteenth Flag in Lynn to raise awareness of the holiday and the African American community. The group also hosts the Our Black Excellence 5k that includes positive images of African Americans along the route to educate participants as they walk or run.
Programming also introduces and educates our community on Black American culture and issues faced by Black Americans.