Juneteenth is celebrated in Chester County

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By Kendall Patterson

Arthur Triplett “Silk” sings during the Juneteenth celebration.

Chester Countians and others from surrounding areas gathered at North Chester Elementary, formerly known as Vincent High School, to celebrate Juneteenth Friday.
Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day and Black Independence Day commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger announced the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas, in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.
Oasis Community Development has held this event since 2018 to inform those who may know little of the day, celebrate black independence through community and music and to give locals who seek office the opportunity to speak to the audience in attendance.
This year, soul music and gospel was performed by people of Chester County, Jackson and McNairy. The 2022 August General Election candidates were also given the ability to speak to the community on why they are running for office.
This year did stand out from the previous years.
A fashion show of African Americans in African attire was held along with a basketball playoff at Chester County Middle School.
Glorious Damron of Adamsville expressed what this day means to her and why it is a big deal.
“A lot of people don’t know what Juneteenth represents… And then we have to tell them it had to do with the Emancipation Proclamation where a group of slaves didn’t know they were free … til Union soldiers told them they were free. They just kept steadily working for their masters, because they didn’t know they were free,” she said. “It’s a part of history people should know about.”
Carmen Barham and Cordell Jones, both 19 years old, explained why this day is important to them as the younger generation that was in attendance.
“This day just means that we can celebrate with one another, because we’re free, and we have the opportunity to give this to God because we are free. Some people celebrate the Fourth of July. We celebrate the Fourth of July too, but this means a lot to us because this is actually now. I just feel like all of us as a community need to get together and celebrate,” Barham said.
“Today, I see it more as a way for us as a community to celebrate together also to celebrate what we have; just to celebrate black excellence. Being here today just shows how great a community we can be if we just work together,” Jones said.

Bill Laarz and the Jackson Hubtet came out to North Chester Elementary Friday to perform soul music in celebration of Juneteenth.
Ezella Robinson models in African attire designed by Carolyn Robinson-Kendall of Gems Designs.

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