Black Impact Collaborative invites the community to celebrate Juneteenth all weekend long
West Michiganders are invited to celebrate Juneteenth all weekend long, thanks to an event series by Black Impact Collaborative (BIC) and its community partners.
The group, which formed in April of 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is hosting its "Roll.Bounce.GR" event Friday, June 18 through Sunday, June 20 to highlight the importance of the holiday and the work towards equality and equity that is still ongoing.
“Juneteenth is an opportunity to shed light on that dark history but also it’s an opportunity to turn the corner and begin to say no more, we will announce new liberties going forward," BIC Board Chair, Dallas Lenear said.
The event series will run 3-9pm each day and will feature free roller skating at Calder Plaza, on site COVID-19 vaccinations, music from various DJs and a Zumba fitness fundraiser, among other festivities.
June 19 celebrates a historic day in 1865 when Union soldiers entered Galveston Texas to deliver a vital message about their victory in the Civil War: The ending of slavery would be enforced. This was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. While many more hurdles remained, Juneteenth honors the "end" of slavery in the U.S. and is known as the longest-running African American holiday.
President Joe Biden signed in Juneteenth as a Federal holiday this week. Lenear said the move was “remarkable,” but says there’s still much to be done.
“I think that is significant, but also is tempered by the fact that it is symbolic, because while on the one hand our government is saying let’s make this a federal holiday, on the other hand we have other people in our government who are saying that we need not officially acknowledge the impact and how Black people have been oppressed and deprived of freedom that has been owed to Black people for forever," he explained.
For more information of Black Impact Collaboratives Juneteeth events, click here.