Freedom Day: a Juneteenth celebration in Fairbanks

Juneteenth: Freedom Day Fairbanks 2022 held by the Greater Fairbanks NAACP
Juneteenth: Freedom Day Fairbanks 2022 held by the Greater Fairbanks NAACP(jameka lache horton)
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 8:15 PM AKDT
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The proclamation to designate June 19th as “Juneteenth” in the Fairbanks North Star Borough was released on June 15, 2022, one year after it was federally enacted. The proclamation was signed by Bryce Ward, Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor, Jim Matherly, Fairbanks City Mayor, and Michael Welch, City of North Pole Mayor.

Today, Saturday, June 18, in Fairbanks at the historic Bernice Allridge Park, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held their annual celebration of the holiday.

June 19th, 1865 was first known as Juneteenth Independence Day to recognize the day when the last group of enslaved people learned slavery had been abolished. The black Americans of Galveston, Texas were informed two years after the Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was delivered.

Juneteenth staples like singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, food from the grill, and table games were in abundance at the event. However, the celebration would not be complete without a space for education, as one of the holiday’s main principles is to enhance self-awareness and unity.

An organizer and President of the Greater Fairbanks NAACP Branch, Montean Jackson stated, “We can accomplish great things if we continue to work together and treat all of our neighbors and fellow citizens as humans first. So I am hoping that the Golden Heart City, all the residents, people that come to visit, and people that come to live here know that we are a community that is united.”

More inclusive events such as a Reggae concert and Black Excellence Gala celebrating Juneteenth throughout the weekend can be found on the NAACP Facebook page.

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