COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Celebrating Freedom Day, June 19th is a significant date in history. It’s the day news of emancipation reached the ears of slaves in Texas.
A celebration in Columbus is being hosted by the Back Liberation Movement of Central Ohio this year, and leaders said the jubilee holds extra weight.
Davante Goins with BLM CO said it’s about recognizing our past and coming together for a better future.
He said been a while since a community group came together to host the celebration.
Goodale park will soon be transformed in to a flurry of activity.
“The reason why we’re bringing the Juneteenth Jubilee back to Goodale park was because that was the home of Black Columbus for many, many years until the ’60s,” said Goins.
Goins said it’s been some time since a community organization hosted celebration at this scale. It’s also a time to gather after a year impacted by the pandemic.
“It’s really important we come together and learn about different ethnic groups as well as different business owners in the community and to really support the community in the big way that we haven’t been able to do in the past few years.”
BLM CO secured vendors from across the city for the festival, along with activities and health screenings set up for the day.
City hall will also light up for the weekend.
“City hall has never been lit up for Juneteenth no,” said Tiffany Whiat with the North Central Area Commission.
She said it’s important for the city to recognize the day, especially with the year Columbus has faced with Summer protests in the wake of the George Floyd movement and violence in the city.
“A rough decade — I mean we’ve had some troubling times but I think that acknowledgment — we shouldn’t erase our history because we should know where we came and learn from those mistakes of our forefathers.”
Goins said BLM CO is committed to making sure a gathering like this will be held each year and years to come.
“Didn’t have anybody to pass the torch on to,” said Goins talking about the group who had thrown the festival in the past. “So now we’re hoping we can stand in the gaps and bring all of the older generation and the younger generation and everybody together to put this event on and continue to do it year in and year out
The celebration here at Goodale park will kick off at 1 pm Saturday afternoon and go until 6 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.