Juneteenth Celebration will feature an array of artists and speakers
The MDI Racial Equity Working Group and l’Acadie en santé are honored to organize a celebratory performance on June 15 from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 19 available live on https://www.healthyacadia.org/ce-juneteenth.
An array of artists and speakers from Maine will come together to share their incredible music and voices, to celebrate the rich culture of African Americans, to commemorate the end of slavery, to honor the dedication and sacrifices of so many. people in the fight for race justice, and to raise awareness of Juneteenth and the critical work underway to combat racism and advance racial equity.
Performers include the Portland-based Multicultural Choir of Pihcintu, made up of refugee girls from around the world who have made their home in Maine; Rodney Mashia, who has touched people’s hearts and made them smile for decades with his soul music; Hawk Henries, a member of the Chaubunagungamaug group of Nipmuck, an indigenous people of what is now southern New England who have been composing original flute music and making flutes using only hand tools and fire for over 25 years old; members of the Mount Desert Island High School choir; and more.
June 19, 1865, was the day Union soldiers announced in Galveston, Texas that the slaves had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years earlier. The day immediately became a cause for great celebration in Texas, then spread to become the oldest nationally celebrated emancipation commemoration across the country. Juneteenth is now recognized, in one form or another, as a day of celebration in all states except Hawaii, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and there is a growing movement to declare the 19 June federal holiday to more officially commemorate the end of slavery.
According to Juneteenth.com: “Today Juneteenth commemorates the freedom of African Americans and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week and, in some areas, a month marked by celebrations, speakers, picnics and family reunions. It is a time of reflection and rejoicing. This is the time to assess, improve yourself and plan for the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity long overdue in America. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions join hands in sincerely recognizing a period in our history that has shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitive to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make meaningful and lasting improvements in our society.
Healthy Acadia is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that engages in a wide range of initiatives to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to lead healthy lives in Washington counties and of Hancock, Maine. Learn more about www.healthyacadia.org.