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Juneteenth Festival Kicks Off with Music, Poetry, and Dancing

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  African-American history and culture are celebrated around the country every year during Juneteenth festivals commemorating the freeing of slaves.  This year marks the 150th anniversary of their freedom.  Mayor Stephanie Minor kicked-off Syracuse’s festival earlier today in front of City Hall. 

There was dancing, music, and a poem performed by Carrie Clark.

“Someone gave their lives for me to be able to see how living free feels. Someone was sold on an auction block while shotguns were cocked bare-bodied, ripped from their families and treated like animals. Someone worked on a cotton field for barely nothing so I could have something. Someone said: We shall overcome”

Juneteenth is particularly important in Syracuse.  Local radio host Rick Wright says the city has a rich history as being a stop on the Underground Railroad. 

“And we think about Juneteenth, we must also remember that the abolitionist movement headquarters [was] here in Syracuse, New York.”

This festival is a time to celebrate African-Americans and to show their true culture, according to Vice President of the Board of Directors, Kevin Henry.

“Juneteenth is not just a celebration, it is us celebrating ourselves. So actually we don’t just want African Americans to come to the festival we want people of all races to come. We want people to come and see there is more to African American people than the violence that you hear about in the news. This is the time to showcase our talent, our culture, our food. A lot of people pay attention to the media and this is our chance to show them who we really are”

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Listen to Mayor Stephanie Miner talk about the significance of Juneteenth.

The Juneteenth festival will be held tomorrow at Clinton Square from 1 to 10 PM.  Grammy Award-winning Singer Angie Stone will perform at 9 PM.

JUNETEENTH FESTIVITIES ON JUNE 13th

MC-Pastor Bernard Alex

  • Opening Prayer
  • 12:00 Shawn Seals and Musical Experiment
  • 12:40 Jessie Hester - FMBC
  • 1:00 Burnell and United Praise
  • 2:00 Lisa Jackson - FMBC
  • 2:15 Family Gospel Singers

MC-Dr. Rick Wright

  • 3:00 Lanika Mabrey- Legacy Poet w/Underground
  • 3:15 JThrillz
  • 3:20 VIP
  • 4:00 Trump Tight
  • 5:30 The TalentedOnes
  • 7:00 UAD
  • 8:30 Angie Stone