A message from Kemone Hendricks:
Evanston Present and Future will present the Evanston Juneteenth Celebration 2020 from June 1st - June 30th with events occurring both online in a virtual event format and informally in the community through activities families and friends can participate in from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Kemone Hendricks, Founder and President of Evanston Present and Future, is proud to bring the Evanston Juneteenth Celebration to the City of Evanston. This year, due to COVID-19 limitations, the Evanston Juneteenth Celebration will be held predominantly online. The event will kick off with “30 Days of Juneteenth” that will honor the late Hecky Powell and be a place where activities will be posted to the group’s Facebook event every Friday in June. The posts will also commemorate Powell’s legacy and are meant to engage with the community.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery, honoring the date federal troops arrived in Texas on June 19, 1865 and brought news of freedom to America’s remaining slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation had been issued over two years prior, but the order to free slaves wasn’t followed in parts of the deep South.
The Evanston Juneteenth Celebration will feature music and dance performances from local youth, presentations by Shorefront Legacy Center founder Dino Robinson, remarks from Robin Rue Simmons 5th Ward Alderman who is preparing a Juneteenth Proclamation for Evanston in honor of Hecky Powell's wish expressed at last year's Juneteenth celebration, remarks from Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty, a special guest interview with Opal Lee - the 93-year-old social activist from Fort Worth, Texas who is traveling the country to gain support for making Juneteenth a national holiday, and much more. Tim Rhoze, artistic director of the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, will also present a community play reading the following day.
“None of us are free until we are all free.” - Mrs. Opal Lee