MIAMI – Live performances and fireworks marked a celebration a long time within the making.
“I came out here to celebrate Juneteenth,” stated Keith Feemster who was amongst hundreds who gathered at Calder Casino for Miami Gardens’ second annual Juneteenth drive-in celebration.
“Miami Gardens is one of the largest black cities in Miami-Dade County, so it was only right for me to come out and support my colleagues here as we celebrate freedom,” stated Commissioner Daniel Jean, from the neighboring metropolis of North Miami Beach.
“I’m having a fabulous time, it’s great,” added occasion attendee Nicole Preston.
The occasion was delayed due to rain that left attendees of their vehicles till storms handed. But issues shortly cleared up and the complete which means of the Juneteenth vacation was as soon as once more the main target.
The significance of Juneteenth is the day that we really discovered that we, the slaves, had been free. The message was already on the market nevertheless it hadn’t traveled across the nation, and by the point it received to everybody they usually realized they had been free it was years later, some individuals had been nonetheless in slaved, some individuals had been nonetheless working,” said Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Reggie Leon.
The event was the brain child of Miami Gardens commissioner Katrina Wilson. A former teacher, she said for years she wanted to bring an awearness of the holiday to the community.
“Juneteenth is an instance of historical past being saved secret and other people occurring about their lives as if nothing had modified,” she stated.
Then President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 however some slaves did not discover out they had been free till years later, June 19, 1865.
This year’s festivities included extra than simply the household pleasant drive in celebration.
“We created a walk through history to celebrate Richmond Heights, Opa Locka, Liberty City, Overtown as well as Miami Gardens. What we did is delineated the history of black Miami residents, where they came from before they ended up here in Miami, and then the rich heritage of each of those communities,” stated Jessica Garrett Modkins .
“This is my first time being out of here and I’m enjoying it and so far it seems good,” stated Marva Allen.
“I think it was a good idea, to have everyone in their own space following Covid safety and family-friendly,” added Nana Atakora.
Event organizers say they plan to proceed the celebration for years to come back.