Roxbury Reunites in Franklin Park – NECN – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-06-19 18:39:19 –

Stephanie Jackson-When Wilson poured charcoal on a portable grill on Saturday, she struggled to remember a year she missed Roxbury homecoming at Franklin Park in Boston, but canceled due to a COVID-19 pandemic. it was done.

“It was very disappointing. It was – awesome. It was devastating to the world-its pandemic,” said Jackson-Wilson, a lifetime resident of Roxbury.

According to the Franklin Park Coalition, there were no “official” plans to celebrate June 16th this year, but it still couldn’t stop the community from gathering at the Shatak Picnic Grove. Homecoming with the right name is like a reunion, reminiscent of barbecues, drinks, music playing and dancing for family and friends.

“It’s all about love, do you know? No matter what we experience, we’re still in love,” said Jackson-Wilson.

She said she had witnessed over the years the annual neighbor’s cooking absorbing the Juneteenth celebration of the end of slavery. For some, this holiday had a special meaning as it was first recognized as both a state and national holiday.

Roxbury’s 53-year-old Fred Albert is grilling for family and friends at Franklin Park on Saturday.

“It’s a great day to celebrate the first official Juneteenth here in Boston with the first black mayor and the first female mayor. Boston Mayor Kim Janny told NBC10 and NECN,” This is a big family. It’s like a reunion. It’s time for us to get together. “

Last year, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Sign the bill Designate a historic day as a state holiday, and on Tuesday the US Senate Passed the bill Make Juneteenth a federal holiday. This was the first time the state officially celebrated a holiday, as Massachusetts’ measures did not take effect until July last year.

“We are all officially celebrating July 4th in this country, but not everyone was free,” said Brandon Tillman, chairman of the All-Greek Council in the Boston metropolitan area. It was. “Many blacks are already celebrating Juneteenth, but it’s great to let others know the true end of slavery and freedom for everyone in this country.”

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, where they brought life-changing news to those living in slavery. The Confederates have collapsed and all enslaved people have been freed. That day, June 19th, will become known as June 16th. This is a day of blessing and remorse for African Americans and people of all races across the country.

Laurlene Hardy, 58, from Dorchester, said: “Juneteenth. Liberation Day. The slaves have been released. And it’s great that the government now makes it a federal holiday, but we’ve been in Franklin Park for years.”

Mary Marcos / NBC10 Boston

Jary Pluit, 8, co-starred with the Area 51 Majorette Mini Dance Team on Saturday.

Senator Sonia Chang Diaz said federal approval has given relief to many, but the community has been celebrating June 16 for a long time.

“Roxbury and Greater Roxbury have been celebrating June 16th for years and didn’t wait for the government to sanction this holiday,” said Chandias. “This has been the center of black joy, community joy and family roots for years and years, do you know? And it’s often called Roxbury Homecoming. It’s two. It’s a heavy celebration. “

Traditionally set up by the Roxbury Homecoming Commission, this year community organizations, including the National Pan-Greek Council and Boston Young Black Professional, worked with the city to rope the designated space with caution tape. .. Many groups arrived before 6am and set up tents, tables and even DJ booths.

Tillman, 39, was one of the organizers who stepped up to achieve that, along with nine historical black fraternities and sororities within the organization.

“I need this,” Tillman said. “I need it.”

Mary Marcos / NBC10 Boston

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