Juneteenth has received a lot more attention in the national press recently after President Donald Trump originally planned a campaign rally in Tulsa on 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.
For the North Shore Juneteenth Association in Lynn (NSJA), who is planning a virtual celebration of the holiday on June 19 at 4 p.m., the additional press given to the annual holiday is outstanding.
“I think it is awesome,” said NSJA Founder and President Nicole Mcclain. “The extra attention the holiday is now getting, we hope, results in making Juneteenth a national holiday.”
As for this year’s celebration amid racial unrest in the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a Minneappolis police officer, Mcclain said Juneteenth carries the same amount of importance as it has historically.
“African Americans have been going through a lot of oppression and racism throughout our time in America,” said Mcclain. “The importance of this year’s celebration is on par with all the years this holiday was celebrated by the community in the past.”
Mcclian said NSJA’s annual Juneteenth Family Fun Day will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are collaborating with West Medford Community Center, West Medford Public Television and Lynn Community Television to bring the celebration online,” said Mcclain. “There will be pre-recorded music, spoken word, guest speakers, dance and song.”
The free event, said Mcclain, is partially funded by Lynn Cultural Council and Mass Cultural Council.
“We also have open registration for our annual Black Excellence 5K that will be done virtually as well,” said Mcclain. “This event helps us raise money for programs so we are calling for community organizations and individuals to register for the 5k to show solidarity with black issues and the need for awareness of the positive contributions Black Americans have made and continue to make in this country.”
You can register for the Black Excellence 5K at www.northshoretimingonline.com/reglive2017.aspx?eventyear_id=1660.