Juneteenth Atlanta Has Educated the Community About the Holiday for Over A Decade
Juneteenth became part of the nation’s consciousness after the murder of George Floyd when questions about systemic and institutional racism were raised. Corporate and government entities began to ask a few questions. The Tulsa Riots, Juneteenth, and more of our history lessons were uncovered and exposed for the first time to many. Juneteenth was celebrated on June 19, 1865, over two years after President Lincoln declared all enslaved persons free. Union Army troops marched to Galveston, TX, to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation and free the last enslaved Black Americans in Texas. June 19, 1865, is closer to being an Independence Day than July 4, 1776. Twelve years ago, Bob Johnson founded Juneteenth Atlanta, which includes a pageant and parade. The event takes place this year from June 16 - 18, and Bob Johnson joins us to speak about this upcoming event. Bob Johnson, welcome to The Local Take.
I asked Johnson when he became aware of Juneteenth. He speaks about growing up in Arizona. On the Fort Huachuca Base. His father was in the military and stationed there. Fort Huachuca was the home of the Buffalo Soldiers and was established in 1877. He speaks to the Juneteenth celebration that took place there every year.
Twelve years ago, Johnson hosted the first “Hair Show and Juneteenth” festival because it was the only weekend available at the convention center. He had planned to launch an industry show, but the Juneteenth celebration is what caught on, and the rest is history. For more than a decade, Johnson has brought Juneteenth ATL to the people with education and entertainment.
Johnson has continued to educate the community about Juneteenth, and this year there will be three days of activities at Centennial Olympic Park beginning on June 16. The parade will be televised and feature bands and dance teams. There is also a 5K Freedom Run. He established a non-profit organization to produce and host the dynamic event. They always need volunteers to help bring the event, which is free and open to the public. #ListenLearnAct
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