FRAMINGHAM – A trio of Framingham women are organizing a Juneteenth celebration and march in the City for Saturday, June 20.
The event will start at Cushing Memorial Park, march to the steps of the Memorial Building, and end back at Cushing Memorial Park.
All are invited to participate.
The organizers are Emmanuella Otteleo Aka, Angela Castrillo Vilches, and
“This will be a peaceful march,” said Aka.
Most people who live in America are oblivious to the Juneteenth holiday, said Aka.
“I remember being a worker, and tell my employer, hey its Juneteenth, we don’t get it off?” said Aka.
She said her boss said “that is not a holiday,” and “that day does not matter.”
According to Juneteenth.com, “Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.”
Forty-seven of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or ceremonial holiday, a day of observance.
Massachusetts recognizes it as a ceremonial holiday with a proclamation.
The three states that do not recognize Juneteenth are Hawaii, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Aka said her boss told her the “date does not matter, that is when it settled for me that a lot of people are oblivious.’
“American chooses to celebrate martin Luther King. Although martin Luther King is amazing, someone that we all look up to. He is an idol to most. To America he is not an idol. To America, he was a threat. And he was assassinated by Americans,” said Aka. “For America to choose to celebrate a man, they hated, but they refuse to celebrate the national holiday that marks slaves freed, it did not sit right with me.”
Aka said all the social justice events that have been happening about “prejudice, racism, police brutality,” she though it would be a great idea to spread light on this event.”
“This march will be peaceful, powerful,” said Aka.
“I want people to know,” how to support their people of color, but they can’t do that unless they are educated,” said Aka.