Blue Water Area celebrates freedom and community during Juneteenth

Juneteenth has been gaining more awareness in recent years and was officially established as a federal holiday in the United States in 2021. The day commemorates June 19, 1865, when the last slaves in Texas learned of their freedom following the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, hundreds of community members gathered for this year’s Juneteenth celebration at St. Clair County Community College (SC4).

“We wanted to utilize the campus to welcome the community to celebrate by coming together as a means of unification and to spread awareness of not only African American history, but our nation's history,” says Jessica Brown, Vice President of DEI and Admissions at SC4.

Local organizations from across the Blue Water Area partnered together to make the community-wide event possible. Organized by AAmos Consulting Group, support for the Juneteenth celebration also came from SC4, the City of Port Huron, Black Lives Matter Port Huron, NAACP Port Huron Branch, St. Clair County Organizing for Regional Equity (SCCORE), Port Huron Museums, #C4YourselfChurch, Diversity Initiative of St. Clair County, and the Community Foundation of St. Clair County’s Blue Water Arts and Equity & Inclusion Committees.

“The purpose is to remember the long road to freedom of African Americans in this country and to spread awareness about the historical importance of this date which signified the end of chattel slavery in America,” says Alphonso Amos, Founder/Managing Partner of AAmos Consulting Group. “It’s definitely a reason to celebrate and bring the community together for a good time.”

The event featured a wide range of activities provided by local organizations and businesses from the region. Attendees were able to engage in educational experiences, have fun, and shop from various Black-owned businesses offering products from jewelry and artwork to beauty products, clothing, and food.

Humble Creations Event Rentals LLC provided bounce houses and treats such as cotton candy and the Port Huron Police Department brought out their Community Engagement Trailer which offered several gaming consoles, cornhole, and carnival-style games for some competitive fun. Music was provided by DJ Ray Brown, as well as live performances from a belly dancer, the Unity For Youth dancers, the Thomason Family Band, and Illtone of Blacktivity.
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Read more articles by Harold Powell.

Harold Powell is the Community Correspondent for The Keel and owner of Phantom Pen Media offering multimedia services to individuals and organizations across the Blue Water Area. He is a current board member for the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce and the most recent Chamber Choice recipient at the Eddy Awards. Harold is an avid volunteer for the YMCA of the Blue Water Area as well as Bridge Builders Counseling & Mentoring and in his spare time, enjoys spending time with his son, writing and listening to music, playing video games, and not folding laundry.