Downtown Orlando Celebrates and remembers Juneteenth with a festival

ORLANDO, Fla. — Saturday, dozens of people in Orlando celebrated and remembered what June 19th, 1865, symbolized and the importance behind what is now known as Juneteenth at Camping World Stadium.


Throughout the event, the celebration was about taking the past, learning from it, and enhancing the future of our lives.

“We’re having a celebration but think of it more as a remembrance that we remember our history. We remember how we got here, black and white,” said Stanley Campbell, running for election to the U.S. Senate.

Local officials, like Orlando Commissioner Mike Scott, Mayor Buddy Dyer, District 5 Commissioner candidate Shaniqua Rose, and Stanley Campbell attended the event.

“I think it’s really important for black and brown children to know the past. Right now, what’s going on, and what’s ahead?,” said Sumer Strawbree, a young author.

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Strawbree attended the event as a spectator to learn about the history of Juneteenth while also working as a vendor teaching the youth about culture with her affirmation coloring books, Black, Brown, and Beautiful.

The event was hosted by the founder of the Well’s Built Museum, Senator Geraldine Thompson, and the city of Orlando. People learned about June 19th and the African American culture through songs, cultural dances, and other teachings.

“The very first celebration of freedom at the end of the Civil War was in Florida, and it was spearheaded by Harriet Tubman, who was working for the Union Army and was stationed near Jacksonville at Fernandina Beach at Fort Clinch and at the end of the Civil War of course she celebrated,” said Thompson.

According to the National Museum of African American History. President Abraham Lincoln passed the emancipation of slaves only in Confederate states in January 1865.

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Through the 13th Amendment, Emancipation ended slavery throughout the United States, and 250-thousand slaves were freed on June 19th in Galveston, Texas, during the final days of the Civil War.

“It’s a lot of folks who are well-adjusted to injustice, and we want to make sure that we’re here to educate them that we still have a lot of work to do in terms of education, economic mobility, gun violence, the climate crisis, etc.,” said United States Representative Maxwell Frost.

Aside from taking in the cultural experiences, Representative Frost astounded the audience on the drums.

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