"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

Juneteenth Is Approaching Come Celebrate With Phalanx

Courtesy of Thomas Cizauskas (Flickr CC0)

There is a big celebration coming soon for the community. The month of May getting ready to come to an end. Juneteenth is a holiday that marks the anniversary of when slaves were emancipated on June 19, 1865. By then slaves were supposed to be freed almost two years prior to 1865 but the people of Texas were unaware.  Over the years this has been labeled as the “real independence day” due to this being the day Black people actually had reached their true independence.

African Americans now have two independence days now considering that we already have  July 4th and now including Juneteenth. There are some events coming up regarding the holiday. Chicago Leader had the pleasure to talk to Pauline Sylvain from Phalanx to give information about the event that will be happening on June 17, 2022.

The celebrations will take place at Phalanx in their parking lot and the streets around the area for safety precautions it is open to people of all ages. Phalanx has family-friendly entertainment planned.

“We are really are providing food, live entertainment, and resources that anyone may need. There are a variety of resources that are for adults, youth, and seniors. When it comes down to the live entertainment the focus will be on our youth ambassadors on the 17th. We invite you to come to take the pledge and invite others out as well, the pledge is focused on promoting a safe and peaceful summer. The youth have worked with our partners in our music program with 48 35 Studio,” Sylvain stated.

Courtesy of Phalanx Family Services

Juneteenth could lead off the summer as a major step toward changing the narrative with violence by being able to inform and protect the younger generations. By having the multiple generations from youth to seniors you never know what knowledge may be getting passed around. There is history all around and there is no way history will be denied its a great time to celebrate and day one of this three-day event gives it a great start.

Educating the people on what is the purpose of Juneteenth will also be available for those who either want to learn more or for those that are not too familiar with the holiday. Juneteenth has just become a new federal holiday when President Joe Biden signed the bill to make it one in the year 2021.

The new federal holiday made its waves before even becoming official due to it being the first one in over 35 years. The last holiday before this one was Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the early 1980s. That was back when Ronald Regan was president and the 80s were just now coming into their own but now we are in 2022.

There are only 12 national holidays that are celebrated publicly and to think that Juneteenth just became one within the last year, although this has been a holiday for almost 200 years.  Sylvain also touched on the educational side of Juneteenth “Freedom day.”

“We will be celebrating with the community through entertainment, resources, food, activities, games, and even giveaways. Handouts will be given with information regarding Juneteenth, new laws city and state for Illinois, and setting up youth to be able to vote,” continued Sylvain.

Juneteenth is a chance for “folks in other ethnicities to bring that information into their culture and their community. I would hope that there’s just more awareness around Juneteenth, which I see that at least for the state of Illinois, is going in that direction. I would hope that there’s just continuing to be awareness around it, not just on that day, but you know, people are learning about it in school. I went to Chicago public schools and I didn’t know about Juneteenth until I was an adult,” she added.

Setting up the youth of tomorrow and adults seems to hold the initial point of these events. They also bring the community together to learn, enjoy, and express their ideas. The power that the community has strictly set up a plan for success amongst the next generations. The growth of knowledge around Juneteenth is being spread amongst society in many ways and there are many ways to interpret it. If anyone wants to know anything regarding or would like to participate in these community events fill free to come and experience Juneteenth with Phalanx, this is an event people wouldn’t want to miss.

Written by Semetrius Holmes
Edited by Sheena Robertson

Interview: Pauline Sylvain from Phalanx on May 25, 2022
: Biden Signs Juneteenth Bill, creating new federal holiday commemorating end of slavery in U.S.

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Phalanx Family Services – Used With Permission
Inset Courtesy of Thomas Cizauskas’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Leave a Reply