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From Pride to Juneteenth, downtown was alive with celebrations last weekend

From Pride to Juneteenth, downtown was alive with celebrations last weekend
June 24
06:12 2022

There was a lot going on downtown last weekend. Hundreds of people lined Fourth Street Saturday morning for the annual Pride Parade and hundreds more attended the 1Love Festival, which held events at the Stevens Center and The Ramkat. 

But the biggest event of the weekend by far was the annual Juneteenth Festival hosted by Triad Cultural Arts Inc. More than 6,000 people attended the festival held at Bailey Park and Biotech Place in Innovation Quarter. 

Juneteenth is the celebration of the country’s longest-running observance of the abolition of slavery. On June 19, 1865, soldiers rode into Galveston, Texas, to announce that slavery had been officially abolished, two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Here in Winston-Salem Triad Cultural Arts Inc. has played host to the Juneteenth Festival for the past 18 years.

The festival had something for everyone to enjoy – arts and crafts, live music, yoga for children and adults, interactive displays, food trucks, and other vendors. Winston-Salem State University’s Rams Know H.O.W., mobile health clinic was on hand providing free health screenings. 

During the festival The Chronicle asked several people what Juneteenth meant to them. Here are some of their responses: 

Philicia Carter-Blue:

“Juneteenth is a time to come together and celebrate our culture’s freedom from slavery. It’s also a time to remember what our ancestors went through and acknowledge that they didn’t get an opportunity to accomplish any of their dreams. It reminds us to carry on the torch, fight for our rights, and most importantly, live your dreams .As a small business consultant, it’s a beautiful thing to see Black business owners have the opportunity to establish their business and have the same rights as every other race.”

Dr. Felicia Piggott-Anderson:

“Juneteenth means we fought and won. And we recognize that God made a way for us … and that our freedom was paid for with our blood, sweat and tears and we don’t take it for granted; we’re going to celebrate it.” 

Evageline Prince: 

“To me Juneteenth is telling our story. Telling our grandkids and great-grandkids exactly what our history is because we don’t want other people telling our kids and our grandkids what our history is; we need to tell them ourselves. We need to show up and show out for our holiday. Monday is a national holiday and the people who have that day off should recognize who we are as a people.”

Carolyn Parker:

“Juneteenth means the heritage of our people. It is so important that we know what our heritage is, where we came from, where we are presently, and what we need to be doing to make the future a better place for Black and brown people and our organization, the Friends of Malloy Jordan East Winston Heritage Center, is trying to do that. We’re the only minority library in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Library System.” 

Dojer James:

“To me Juneteenth is our opportunity to come together and celebrate what we have overcome. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we have overcome a lot and it’s important that we celebrate that.” 

 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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