Public invited to Juneteenth celebration

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UNITY in the Community awareness and service committee, along with Payne Subdivision Enhancement and Awareness Committee, will host activities in honor of Juneteenth, June 19.

Many Americans recognize Juneteenth (June 19) as the day in 1865 that slavery of African-Americans in America ended.

This year’s events will be over a two-day period, June 18-19. An opening ceremony, “Breaking the Chains,” will be Friday, June 18 at 5:30 in the parking lot of First Baptist Church-North Street. The setting will include an ecumenical service inside the church, with community informational booths and activities outside.

A Freedom Health Walk will be Saturday, June 19 at 8 a.m. at the Ben Johnson Community Park, 600 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. An afternoon celebration in the Payne Subdivision community will be at 2 p.m. There will be a parade, community recognition program and a talent exhibition activity, themed “The Dynamics of Our Heritage: A Family Reunion.” Open to the public, all events and activities are family-oriented.

During this year’s celebration, special recognition will include the 100th birthday of Louisiana’s only African-American governor, P.B.S. Pinchback, the first students to integrate Northwestern State University, civic and religious leaders, John G. Lewis and the Rev. A. Rayford Blount, and spotlighting the distinction of the Greenwood District/”Black Wall Street” (Tulsa, Okla., race massacre) impacting American history.

For information, contact Mildred Joseph at (318) 581-3561, Melissa S. Moffett, (318) 663-0345, Roosevelt Jackson III, (318) 332-1542, Bernard Johnson, (318) 332-5551 or Ralph Wilson at (318) 332-8254.