Celebrating Juneteenth

by Rachel Hill

I volunteered at the Juneteenth Celebration on June 16th at the African American Cultural Gardens (AACG). Historically, Juneteenth is the celebration of the liberation of the last of the slaves and of putting the inhumane practice in the past. Now It is  a family-friendly, free event featuring local performing artist, food vendors, educational events, entertainment, and more. (Learn more about Juneteenth here)

Photo courtesy of  Facebook

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Although I was a volunteer, with The African American Cultural Garden Association. I also got to partake in the festivities as well. I also got to see the Cavs Scream Team and Cavalier Girls in action. I took place in “All the Hoopla,” which was a great portion of the event in which I got to showcase my recently acquired hula hoop skills. Kevin “Chill“ Heard kicked off the event as the emcee and participants heard inspirational words from Prester Pickett, MFA Coordinator of Howard Mims African American Cultural Center at Cleveland State University.

Photo courtesy of  Facebook

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Reasons for Black Girls to a Juneteenth Celebration

 This is a once a year event to celebrate, history, culture, black entrepreneurship, and family. I enjoyed the most was coming together for the culture, and celebrating our independence and freedom from slavery. It is a celebration to signify the unfair system of forced bondage and labor that plagued our country for centuries. Juneteenth also signifies the pride, history, and the heritage of being a black person.

AACG upcoming events

One World Day on September 16th, 2018.  It will feature a Parade of Nations, tours of the gardens, a naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens, cultural performances, food from many countries, and fun for the whole family.

The AACG is fundraising to complete their garden and the final plans include a waterfall.  You can learn more  or donate here.

Rachel Hill is a lifelong Clevelander reigning from Shaker Heights. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta as well as a freelance journalist. Catch Rachel every Thursday night on WOVU and on Sundays at 6 pm on WTAM radio