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Fairfax Keynotes Chesapeake Juneteenth

Former Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax delivers a powerful keynote speech at the Chesapeake Juneteenth event, emphasizing the significance of freedom and reconnecting with history.




The Chesapeake Juneteenth Foundation (CJF) hosted its Annual Juneteenth observance on Saturday, June 17 at the Chesapeake Greenbriar Country Club. The CJF was founded as a 501-c-3 non-profit by Ernest Lowery, who serves as the Board Chairman.

This year’s well-attended event featured a luncheon and was keynoted by former Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. The program was emceed by Steven Alexander, comedian and WPCE radio personality.

Also speaking on the program were Miss Virginia’s Teen, Ayana Lee Johnson, and Del. Cliff Hayes. The Women of Praise Ministry of New Galilee Baptist Church and Gospel Singer Carolyn Smith provided entertainment.

Hon. Fairfax spoke from the theme “Message of Freedom and Hope” as regards the Juneteenth holiday, named for the date in Texas on June 19, 1865 when the enslaved Texans learned they were free.

“We have always been free … God freed us,” he declared. “We must feel hope and encouragement in our history.”

The Juneteenth holiday is important, he said, because it reconnects us with our history.

Fairfax offered three takeaway points for an already “free people” to becoming “more free.” First, he said, thank God for the deliverance. Second, never go back to the place of not being free. And finally, free as many people as you can.

Fairfax told the story of his own family’s release from enslavement by the Simon Fairfax Family during that time in history. As he was preparing for his inauguration to become Virginia’s 41st Lieutenant Governor, his father gave him the “deed of freedom document” dated July 5, 1778 that spelled out the family’s freedom.

During the event, Dr. George Reed, CJF Board Secretary, presented the foundation’s $1,000 scholarship to Maceson Smith. Two $500 scholarships were given by Kings Point Enterprises to be presented by the foundation.

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