Juneteenth in Binghamton: Why organizers say this year was special

first_imgShadedria Bratton said she too hopes that moving forward Juneteenth becomes part of the history curriculum in local schools, but today, she wanted to make sure her young son understood the significance. The day was an opportunity to enjoy food, music, performances and celebrate local Black-owned businesses. “The city is unified, everyone is together, everyone has the same agenda,” Thomas said. “We’re trying to reach the same goals and that’s what it’s about.” “Hey, we’re celebrating. Everything is free, you eat, I eat, it’s always been about that,” Prudent said. “We just want everyone to realize that it’s about that.” Carlena Bethea says she came to the event as one of Binghamton’s newest business owners, setting up at tent to show off her new company, Christ T’s. Fellow organizer Talon Thomas says the day was an opportunity to keep all of the momentum of the last several weeks going. “We weren’t educated about this. My grandmother Ruth Lewis taught us about Juneteenth,” she says. “Every day you see the American flag up, this is our Independence Day.” For many people, this year’s celebration carried added significance. With nationwide protests shining a spotlight on issues of racial inequality and police brutality, Currie said that’s something she can see beginning to change. For Prudent and fellow organizer Remore Currie, Juneteenth wasn’t something they learned about in school. “It’s an honor because in these areas there’s not a lot of Black business owners, and this is just a great opportunity to be a part of it,” she said. “Black Lives Matter. This is Juneteenth, We shouldn’t be owned by anyone,” said organizer Emile Prudent. Organizers say the day is celebrated every year to honor the emancipation of slaves in the United States. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — On Saturday, community members gathered at Binghamton’s Columbus Park, known to many as Assata Shakur Park, to celebrate Juneteenth. “He understands how much this means. He woke up thinking we were going to a protest today, and I was like, ‘No it’s not a protest, it’s a party, a party for everybody,'” Bratton said. Emile Prudent said she hopes after today’s celebration, that’s something everybody understands. “My job let me have off yesterday for half a day, and starting next year it’s considered a paid holiday, so we’re actually moving the needle,” Currei said. “It’s slow but we’re making steps.”last_img

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