Community

Beckley to Host 21st Annual Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 18th, 2022 at New River Park

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Texas and informed remaining slaves that they were now free as a result of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued on Sept. 22, 1862. Almost two and a half years later, on the day we now know and celebrate as Juneteenth, all slaves were finally free.

To commemorate the liberation of all African-American slaves, Beckley will host the city’s 21st Annual Juneteenth event on Saturday, June 18th, 2022 at New River Park.

Raleigh County NAACP President Barbara Charles said it is imperative that Black people reflect on this special day.

“All of our history is important, especially when people are trying to vigorously distort and destroy it,” Charles said, “How can you know your future and you don’t know your past?”

The event will span from Saturday to Sunday, kicking off at 10:00AM with acknowledgements at the historical Hunter Cemetery located on Antonio Avenue off of South Fayette St. Known as the resting place for Beckley’s African-American pioneers, attendees will place flags on every grave and sing hymns to honor the ancestors.

The celebration will then move to New River Park, where attendees can anticipate food, fun, games, and performances honoring Juneteenth. The National Association For The Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and The Partnership of African-American Churches (PAAC) will also provide on-site testing for COVID-19 as well as vaccine and booster shots.

The event wraps up Sunday at 3PM with an awards dinner and dance at the Beckley Women’s Club located at the Beckley Women’s Club at 202 Park Avenue.

For more information on how to volunteer, make food and monetary donations, serve as a vendor or purchase tickets to the awards dinner and dance, contact Tina Pannell at 480-313-0610.


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Kabrea James is a journalist, entrepreneur and visual artist from Beckley, West Virginia.

A graduate from Marshall University, James received her Bachelor’s degree in Print Journalism and Creative Writing. She formerly served as Digital Media Editor and Reporter for the Register-Herald in her hometown Beckley. James is the creator and main contributor of LEUPHORIQUE.COM, an independent publication centered around black art and spirituality.

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