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This Weekend: Celebrate Juneteenth In Hampton Roads



This weekend, two events are planned to observe Juneteenth which is recognized on June 19th across the nation as an African-American holiday in 45 states. Juneteenth commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States and dates back to June 19, 1865. That is when enslaved Blacks in Galveston, Texas first learned that they had been free for two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed them on January 1, 1863. Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Today, Juneteenth celebrates African-American freedom and achievement and observances are held across the country with speeches, displays, food and other Afro-cultural activities. For many, it is considered a national day of pride.

Saturday, June 18
“The Power of Unity” Juneteenth In Chesapeake

“The Power of Unity” is the theme for Juneteenth 2016 organized by Ernest Lowery and sponsored by Lowery’s Custom Video and Photography and the New Journal and Guide. This free family event will take place on Saturday, June 18, at the New Hope Center, 1425 Gust Lane, Chesapeake, VA 23323 from 12-4 p.m. Emceeing the program will be Herman Hurston and Regina Royster. The scheduled line-up of speakers and performers include:

— D. D King, Author – “Relationships on Blast”
— Bret Hewitt, Positive Vibes – “Whose Story Are You Listening To?”
— Dr. Darnell Johnson of ECSU – Educational Perspective – “Statistics That Should Alarm You”
— Bert Bergan- “How To Apply The Business Hook-up”
— Veronica Davis – “There Is Something About Us”
— Sam Allen-“Negro Baseball, The Story”
— Dr. Cornelius Warren – “Global Health Right Here”
— Ms. Kenya Hines, SHERO-Award winner
— LaShawn Hawkins – “Moving with the Word”


Entertainment will be provided by Calden Moye-Hall, Regina Scott Sandord, and Crystal Spencer Parker. This is free event and donations are welcome. For more information, contact Ernest Lowery – leave a message at (757) 420-4663. Your call will be returned. The Hope Center is conveniently located near the railroad tracks at 1425 Gust Lane near the Deep Creek/Portsmouth border on the Chesapeake side, zip code 23323.

Sunday, June 19
Hampton Roads Juneteenth Festival In Portsmouth

The Hampton Roads Juneteenth Festival & WJVA 106.5 FM will observe Juneteenth on Sunday, June 19, 2016 from noon – 8 p.m. at the Portsmouth City Park in Portsmouth. This is the first outdoor Juneteenth festival since 2009 organized by Sheri Bailey, director of the Hampton Roads Juneteenth Festival. The free event is open to the public. Activities throughout the day will include poetry reading, social justice speakers, singers, dancers, musicians, artists, cultural arts and environmental groups. Also Revolutionary and Civil War reenactments, as well as film and video screenings, will be presented. For more information, contact Sheri Bailey at (757) 609-7066 or visit

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