Friday, June 19, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
Rockland County will be joined by several other Mid-Hudson area communities celebrating Juneteenth with activities and events this weekend. Planned are civic and historical speeches, fun-runs, tours of significant historical sites, music, food and fun. In view of the Black Lives Matter campaign, several protest marches will also be held in area communities.
Juneteenth commemorates Union General Gordon Granger's declaration that all slaves are free on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
Friday's Juneteenth program includes an opening prayer by the Rev. Raymond C. Caliman, pastor of Fairmont Baptist Church; and remarks by Kohut and Rockland County Human Rights Commissioner Constance Frazier.
- What: Haverstraw African American Connection's fifth Juneteenth Celebration
- When: 6 p.m. Friday
- Where: Outside Haverstraw Village Hall, 40 New Main St.
- Information: Visit the HAAC's Facebook page
In Rockland County, the festivities will be held at Memorial Park at Piermont Avenue in Nyack starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 18.
Here is a rundown of the day's events:
8 a.m. - A 1.6 mile Fun Run, named in honor of former Nyack NAACP President Laurence H. Holland, will start at the corner of Depew and Piermont Avenues (takes place rain or shine)
9 a.m. - Registration for free self-guided walking tours of places of African American historic significance in Nyack, organized by local author and scholar Dr. Lori Martin, will take place at tables near the basketball courts. Participants will use Smart Phones to access digital information about the sites. (takes place rain or shine)
12 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Enjoy vendors, food and activities for all
12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. – The Herve Alexander Quartet will perform
12:45 p.m. to 1:30pm - The Nyack High School Band under the direction of Michael Smith will perform
12 p.m. to 4:30 pm – A keynote address will be given by Pastor Roger Williamson of Berea Seventh-Day Adventist Church (in the event of rain this will take place at Rockland Community College at the Ellipse, in the technology building)
12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – A tribute for longtime Nyack Public School education Anne Nash will includes food, activities and live music
Juneteenth Celebration/Black Lives Matter March | Beacon
On Friday, June 19, at 6:30pm there will be a Juneteenth Celebration March/Black Lives Matter Protest in Beacon. Community members will meet at Polhill Park and will march down Main Street to Memorial Park. The event is organized to give an opportunity to hear from community members and learn about Beacon’s Black history. Food and beverages will also be provided in celebration of Juneteenth.
Defend Black Lives March | Katonah
Westchester residents are invite to gather for a “Defend Black Lives Event” in Katonah on Friday, June 19, at 1pm. The event organizers’ demands include defunding the police, investing in Black communities, and charging officers for police brutality against Black Americans. The event will meet outside the Katonah Village Public Library and will march throughout the town.
Virtual Juneteenth | Kingston
Harambee, in collaboration with the A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Center in Kingston, Seasoned Gives, and My Kingston Kids, will be hosting a virtual Juneteenth festival on Saturday, June 20 from 1-3pm, in memory of Pastor Paul Worthington, who passed away May 2. This family-friendly event will be live-streamed on Facebook and will include storytelling, song, dance, and spoken word performances by POOK! (Percussion Orchestra of Kingston), Energy Dance Company, Marlene Merrit, Kortnee Simmons, Alex Simmons, Evelyn Clarke, and others. The virtual event will be hosted by Radio Kingston’s Jessica McNabb. Also honored will be local resident and world-renowned African drummer and performer Juma Sultan.
Virtual Juneteenth | Albany
The annual South Pearl Street festival in Albany in honor of Juneteenth will be a mixed in-person/online event this Saturday, June 20 at 12pm. Cohosted by the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region and three other area groups, the festival will spotlight Black history, music, and culture. The outdoor reflection garden at the center is being dedicated as a safe space for community members to gather, reflect, and grieve in this tumultuous period. The garden will also be the setting for music performances, which will be live-streamed on Facebook and Instagram, and free soul food dinners will available for pickup or outdoor dining in the garden. Entertainment includes Jeid Ebanks, JahQuai Oliver, Ewart Simpson, Liana'kim, and Kai Yola.