By Randy Singleton
Community Affairs Correspondent
New Journal and Guide
Juneteenth 2015: “Out of Sight-Out of Mind” was celebrated Saturday (June 20) at the Cuffee Community Center in Chesapeake. The event focused both on commemoration of the freeing of the slaves in the extreme western edge of the Confederacy by the Emancipation Proclamation and the huge socio-economic challenges facing the African-American community today in a rapidly-changing, technology-driven world.
The program, sponsored by Juneteenth International, the New Journal and Guide, Lowery’s Custom Video and Photography, Virginia Beach Africana 2015, and Dr. William Ward, featured African drumming, mime dance, and official greetings from the city of Chesapeake by councilwoman Dr. Ella Ward.
New Journal and Guide Chief Reporter Leonard Colvin was one of the event’s keynote speakers. Colvin discussed the historical and contemporary importance of the Black Press in conveying the concerns of African-Americans to the wider community. Colvin referenced his years of experience in journalism, and the recent digital archiving of the Journal and Guide.
Colvin captivated the audience with his laser-focus on recent incidents of racial injustice, both local and national, that were given short shrift by national media outlets but were covered in detail by the Black Press.
Other speakers included mathematician Dr. Darnell Johnson of ECSU, Herbal pharmacist Al Lewis, Coach Elisha “Cadillac” Harris, Dr. Earle Williams, vocalist Regina Scott Sanford, and Rev. Joseph Hassell. Local radio personality Herman Hurston served as master of ceremony. Event organizer Ernest Lowery thanked all program attendees and guest speakers for their support.