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Henderson community celebrates fifth local Juneteenth

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Local residents came together on Saturday to celebrate Juneteenth at North Chester (Chester County Training-Vincent High School). Pictured left to right: Buel Maness, Terry Bell, Marles Flowers, David Hunt, Sylvia Flowers, Chester County Mayor Barry Hutcherson, Sherry Hutcherson and Mark Barber
.By Kendall Patterson

June 19th is called a variety of names: Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Juneteenth Independence Day and Black Independence Day. The holiday was celebrated in Henderson on Friday and Saturday at the field of North Chester, formerly known as Chester County Training-Vincent High School, the black high school.
Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, is an important holiday to African Americans of the United States. Though the colonies were free, the United States were not completely a free nation as blacks were still held in bondage. Even after the Civil War between the Union and Confederacy when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln declaring enslaved people of the states free, some were still enslaved. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery that occurred June 19, 1865 once the message of freedom for blacks reached Texas that was late to receive the message due to isolation from the rest of the nation.
The African community celebrated this holiday since then as the variety of different names it’s called. In 2021, Juneteenth National Independence Day was nationally recognized after President Joe Biden signed it into law in 2021.
On Friday there was a showing of “Black Wall Street.” On Saturday, the community enjoyed food and live music along with a bounce house and slide for the children.
Danny Johnson was one of the Henderson residents that gave a history of Juneteenth during the Henderson celebration. For Johnson, Juneteenth has another layer of celebration to being free; it is honoring those who fought for freedom and were victims to slavery in the United States.
“It means a time of freedom. A time to carry on and thank God for a new day for our people. A time to celebrate our ancestors that paid the price for the freedom that we have today. We do this in honor of our ancestors,” Johnson said.
Marles Flowers of the Oasis Community Development, the host of the celebration, said that it was a great day celebrating black freedom.
“It has been an awesome, awesome day for us to come together and celebrate our freedom reflecting on all that it has brought to us, all that we are aspiring to get and what it means in the future. If we don’t know where we’ve been, we’re doomed to repeat again what has happened,” he said.
Flowers thanks those in the community who helped make the event possible.
“We’re grateful for the City of Henderson, for the constituents of our city and county government to come out and take part in what we’re doing. Thanks so much to the Henderson [Chester County Independent] paper for keeping our message and our community resources in the forefront of their mind. Oasis Community Development Corporation exists to help others excel.”

Aaliyah See, a rising sophomore, was one of the performers during the 2024 Henderson Juneteenth celebration. Pictured is See as she sings.

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