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Remembering Juneteenth Celebrations

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

I have fond memories about celebrating Juneteenth with my family in Minneapolis and in East Texas, where my husband's family is from. Juneteenth on the Northside of Minneapolis was one of the biggest, if not the largest Black community gathering in Minnesota. Starting with a full parade early in the morning and seeing tons of Black families lined up on the curbsides of Penn and Glenwood Avenues North. There was Live Music, Drill Teams, Exhibitions, Community Leaders, Black Owned Businesses (BOB), and great Food Vendors, in fact, I was a food vendor once.

At the same time we were celebrating Juneteenth in Minneapolis, over a thousand miles away in a small town in East Texas, not too far from Dallas, the community was celebrating Juneteenth with everything we had at our festival and a lot more, including fancy Car Shows and Black Rodeos, which was a complete phenomenon to me since I never saw Black cowboys before. Plus, my husband's family always have their annual family reunion during Juneteenth weekend, which made the holiday events more important to celebrate.

Although Slaves were freed in 1863, it wasn't until two years past 1865 in 1863 that Blacks were actually freed. Black communities across the country observe Juneteenth, aka as Freedom Day, which is historically celebrated on the 19th of June every year since 1866, more than two years past the original Emancipation Proclamation, Today, most large celebrations take place on the closest Saturday weekend to the 19th day of June, many say, but no one really knows what "teenth" day of June the Black Slaves in Texas were actually freed. Research shows the date could of been the 17th, 18th or 19th June. So it only makes sense to celebrate Juneteenth the whole entire weekend.

This year we plan to start a new era in the Twin Cities with having a large block party on West Broadway Avenue from Fremont to Irving Avenues North. We understand this will be a challenge considering all of the licenses and permits required for us to have a good time these days. BOB Rewards Club will take on the challenge just to bring back the great memories that I experienced in my early youth while attending Juneteenth Celebrations across the United States many years ago.

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Michelle Gibson Webb
Michelle Gibson Webb

Getting Ready For Juneteenth Minnesota. We deserve a great celebration this year!

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