ARKANSAS, USA — With Juneteenth becoming a national holiday 142 years after the last group of enslaved African Americans were told of The Emancipation Proclamation in America, Arkansans are finding ways to combine the tragic history with the celebration of true freedom.
Brian Rodgers with the Mosaic Templars Culture Center explained that Jubilee is what Arkansans use to celebrate their ancestors' freedom as far back as the 1880s.
They celebrated what they called Emancipation Day.
The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will be hosting its annual Juneteenth Celebration, a multiday event that will start at 1 p.m. June 16 with a grand finale on June 19 on Facebook Live.
"Celebrate African American freedom and achievement with a virtual extravaganza that delivers stories and experiences of Arkansans while delving into history, achievements, success and talents of local business owners, artists and musicians. Learn about Black history, excellence, culture and heritage," the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center's website reads of the event.
Join in on the Juneteenth Arkansas Festival on Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The festival activities start with a parade that begins at 10 a.m. on Ninth Street by the Mosiac Templars Cultural Center and ends at Interstate Park. At the park, attendees are invited to participate in kickball, food, water slides, vendors, music, a kid zone, African cultural education, and more.
For more information visit the Juneteenth Arkansas Festival website.
The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission announced the 2021 Juneteenth Nonviolence Youth Summit Delta Financial Literacy Program on Saturday, June 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Dumas High School. The event is free and open to the public and will include involvement from Pine Bluff, McGehee, Dumas, Dermott, and Lake Village.
Celebrations of Freedom event kicks off at noon Saturday, June 19 at the Fester Park Pavilion. Lunch will be served at noon and it'll feature a Black business expo, bounce houses, panel discussions, and history lessons. The event is hosted by the Clark County NAACP Unit 6005.
During Southeast Arkansas' first "Victory Over Violence" Unity and Peace March, the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission is inviting the public to bring out youth groups, faith groups, law enforcement, all to march with to raise awareness about the community's involvement and role in curtailing violence.