APPLETON (NBC 26) — Ahead of Juneteenth which is on June 19, the Appleton and Fox Valley community came together at Jones Park for an annual celebration.
This event commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. The day is also sometimes referred to as, “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”
Watch below to get a feel for what the celebration was like:
Stepping to the rhythm of the beat, performers shared cultural dances as those in attendance came together in unity.
“This is amazing we can come together as a whole instead of being segregated. I think it’s awesome, I really love it,” said one Menasha resident.
“I haven’t seen this many people that looks like me in Wisconsin and I really love the energy,” said another woman in attendance.
“Many many years ago in the 1800s Black folks got free with the Emancipation Proclamation but would you believe the ones down in Texas didn’t hear about it till two years later and that’s what Juneteenth is about. But we also know that African Americans we’re still advocating and struggling for full freedom,” said Bola Delano, African American Heritage Inc. Co-Founder.
Delano is the co-founder of the organization which put on this event. She shares what she hopes people will take away from the event.
“We hope people walk away today hoping and striving in ensuring that we dismantle racial discrimination in America. We hope people walk away that there is need for all of us to come together as a community,” Delano said.
Organizers also honored recent graduates as they hope to empower the leaders of tomorrow.
Watch below as these recent graduates "Walked it Out" as they began to walk towards their future paths:
Hear from the Class of 2021:
Watch below as a Lawrence University Class of 2021 Graduate shares her accomplishments and experiences:
The event also gave vendors and outreach groups an opportunity to show off their work.
“Our designs are mostly afro-centric. We merge fashion and culture together,” said Maanami Phillips, Afro Funk Baby owner.
The event also had a free vaccination clinic so that those attending could walk in and receive their COVID-19 shot.
Delano stresses the importance of the area Black community getting vaccinated.
Interested in learning more about Juneteenth? Watch the video below: