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Juneteenth, a historic family gathering

Ronald Mitchell

Juneteenth celebrations create a wealth of opportunity for the Boston community to celebrate the Black family experience here in Boston. Juneteenth has been celebrated by the Black family going back over a century.

Many feel that Juneteenth was born out of an event that is not worthy of celebrating. Some point to the fact that taking an additional year for the message of emancipation to reach enslaved people down in Texas is not something that one should celebrate. And I certainly can understand that sentiment.

But the overabundance of love and enjoyment that comes from the many family celebrations this new national holiday provides cannot be overlooked. This situation serves as another example of how we as Black people continue to take lemons and turn them into lemonade.

The Roxbury Homecoming celebration has happened every year in Franklin Park for as long as I can remember. My mom and her friends would come back to town from where they moved decades ago and meet with the friends they grew up with. They would reminisce about the old times and celebrate the best of us. This  would serve as a reminder of the beginning of summer and that we as a people were going to succeed and thrive despite the many challenges our society had in store for us. This family day in Franklin Park, and the many other family reunions and celebrations remind us that we embody the love, rhythm, culture and that undeniable spirit of our ancestors.

Enjoy the Juneteenth holiday. There are many celebrations of this holiday. Find one and spend time with your family. Remember, we as a people have all we need to succeed when we work together and continue to celebrate each other.

juneteenth, Roxbury homecoming