Make the date a part of the June festivities in the Iowa community

Make the date a part of the June festivities in the Iowa community

June 19, 1865 is the day enslaved African Americans in Confederate Galveston, Texas, learned they were free—two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth, observed on June 19, not only celebrates freedom, it honors and celebrates the achievements and contributions of African Americans.

Although former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack signed legislation making Juneteenth a public holiday in 2002, some Iowa communities have recently begun to celebrate it. After the murder of George Floyd, some communities turned their attention to black Americans and history, asking, “What can we do differently?” One of those things was a Juneteenth tribute. When President Joe Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday in 2021, more acknowledged him.

What is the correct way to celebrate June th?

First, don’t make it a commodity.

For Abena Sankofa Imhotep, founder of the Sankofa Literary & Empowerment Group and host of several Juneteenth events, “commodity” in this context means placing a sacred black day or event as something that can be bought or sold. “For example, Dr. King Day. Mrs. Coretta Scott King fought for 25 years or more to have this day as his birthday, and to be recognized as a federal holiday,” Imhotep said. “That’s cool. But what we see now is the mattress sales on Dr. Day. So, in a sense, Dr. Qing Dai has been turned into a commodity.”

More from Rachel: Opinion: Could a new Waterloo grocery store model work for Buffalo after a racial massacre?

Imhotep understands that we live in a country that values ​​the ability to buy, sell and earn money. “But there are certain days, moments, and events for communities,” she added, “particularly the sacred and special African American community, and Junitient is one of those.”

Imhotep believes that national recognition for Juneteenth is an incredible milestone. She added, “I just want to warn us all to mitigate the impact of what our ancestors have survived and lived through, and not to whitewash this achievement by selling Juneteenth mattresses or Juneteenth interest rate.”

Or Juneteenth Ice Cream.

More communities across Iowa are making Juneteenth an annual event. For example, Ottumwa and Washington will host their second annual events in 2022.

Second, include the date

Some who planned to present their first events in 2022 weren’t sure how best to honor the holiday. Urbandale’s Living History Farms were one. They turned to Doana Bradley.

For seven years, Bradley has hosted Juneteenth events under the nonprofit Iowa Juneteenth Observance, which is under the umbrella of the nonprofit Des Moines Urban Experience. Des Moines Urban Experience focuses on the culture, history, and education of African Americans. This year, Bradley has expanded its activities to help others with Juneteenth events, namely Living History Farms and West Des Moines, as well as promoting other events.

“I was just part of their[living history farms]challenge,” Bradley said. “I really wanted them to know who they’re helping and why it was important for people like me to help them in the process and not try to do everything.” Bradley shared the historical context behind Juneteenth – why this is important and what it means.

Liberation Day: The Juneteenth Event organized by Living History Farm, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, will explore the dark experience in Iowa’s history, from early farms to the struggle for civil rights in the 20th century. According to a press release from Living History Farms, speakers include:

  • Dr. Valerie Grimm of Indiana University on the hope and reality that Iowa offered in the years since emancipation.
  • Judge Odell McGee is a member of the National Bar (established in Des Moines in 1925 when black lawyers were barred from membership in the American Bar Association). Judge McGee, who was the fifth African-American justice in Iowa, worked for 13 years to obtain a memorial honoring blacks for the founders of the National Bar in downtown Des Moines.
  • Author David Connon on the Iowa subway.
  • Retired Iowa Supreme Court Justice Michael Street on the landmark Iowa anti-slavery decision “on the Ralph Matter.”

more: The sculpture in Downtown symbolizes perseverance and communication in the face of discrimination

Finally, Juneteenth should not be limited to one month

Like Black History Month, Juneteenth should be observed throughout the year and lessons from the past should be applied to solve problems today.

Other June Events

June 8-20 – The Iowa Juneteenth Observance lists more than 25 celebrations primarily in the Des Moines area, many of which are not on the above post. For more information:

June 11And the 11:30 AM – 6 PM, Fort Dodge – A one-day event at MLK Entertainment Center, 712 3rd St. NW, will present history, Juneteenth art, youth and adult games, entertainment, voting information, a health screening, a presentation by activist Al Womble and more.

June 12-18, Washington – Juneteenth Freedom Week, sponsored by Washington For Justice, features a combined concert, historical and puppet shows, ADE music performances, a spoken word by Dog “The Negro Artist” Rainey, and more on the “Be Like Buxton” theme. For more information:

June 14And the 6:30-7:30 p.m., Hiawatha Juneteenth & Emancipation will be presented at Hiawatha Library, 150 W. Wilman St. , by the African American Museum in Iowa and will cover Juneteenth history and celebration.

From June 14, 15, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., online OHR is hosting a two-night virtual event based on “High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America,” adapted into the Netflix series, by Jessica B. Harris, James Award winner Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. Abina Sankova Imhotep will facilitate the two nights. For more information:

June 17, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Ottumwa – This second annual event in Central Park will see a welcome from Sandra Pope, the first person on Ottumwa’s City Council of Color, along with music, performances by a community gospel choir, vendors, food, a community father award and more.

17-19 June, Waterloo – Juneteenth Annual Celebration, Sponsored by Waterloo NAACP and Social Action Inc. , featuring African clothing show at 8pm June 17th at Absalom Lounge. June 18 and 19 will feature music, food, games, entertainment, church services, meet and greets with city council members, the basketball league, vendors, and more. For more information: or call LaTanya Graves, 319-214-3434.

June 18, 11am-4pm, Cedar Rapids —The African American Museum of Iowa hosts a day of music, live performances, dance and spoken word at Newbow City Market, 1100 3rd St. Additionally, there will be a mayor’s announcement with Cedar Rapids Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell, “What’s Juneteenth?” By MC Jemar Lee, Black-Owned Business Market, and tables featuring representatives from the community and local organizations. For more information:

June 18, 3pm-10pm, Ankeny Organized by the Ankeny Community Network, the Juneteenth event, in The District at Prairie Trail, will feature live music, local artists, games for kids, food trucks and more.

June 18, 7 p.m., – Iowa PBS presents “Juneteenth: The Movement 2022,” a 90-minute program hosted by Madison Ray and Joshalyn “Rocki” Johnson of Waterloo, with shows by Charlotte Bleu, Jim Swim X ADE, Sharan Callister, Kevin Burt and others, plus exclusive shows Interviews by journalist Ty Rushing. For more information:

June 19And the 2 PM – 7:00 PM, Mason City – Mason City Voices for Inclusion presents Mason City’s third annual celebration of Juneteenth, featuring outdoor cooking, music, games and more in East Park.

June 19-26, Des Moines The Play, 831 42nd Street, presents a Bowfield Berry workshop presentation entitled “Buffalo Woman: A Musical Play for the Black Cowgirl,” which is described as “Juneteenth.” New life. New liberties. Buffalo Women is the story of hidden characters living an extraordinary life on the frontier in 1865.” Listen to The Culture Buzz for an interview with Buffalo Women. For more information:

June 20, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Elle – KCRG News’ Phil Reed will talk about what Juneteenth means to him and the children’s story “Juneteenth for Mazie” at Ely Public Library, followed by the Dows St. For more information:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.