Even though there will be no formal Juneteenth celebration with large groups of people in Albion in 2020, there are things happening.
It is a celebration of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Many Black families came to Albion 100 years ago to work at Albion foundries, in particular, the Malleable foundry.
Albion celebrates Juneteenth on the Saturday before Father’s Day.
From City Councilperson Lenn Reid: June 13, 2020:
The Juneteenth Committee will not be doing a community celebration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were all prepared but feel it safer to wait until things improve healthwise. This does not mean you should forget WHY we celebrate Juneteenth. Take time to reflect on what bought it about, talk with your children about it and be sure to THANK GOD for his GOODNESS and MERCY. Be Blessed!”
From Albion’s NAACP on Facebook:
IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR!!!!
While some are using this day to divide, the NAACP in partnership with @revolttv will use #Juneteenth to bring our family back together! Join us June 19th @ 4pm LIVE ON YOUTUBE for the #BlackFamilyReunion as we talk about the music, the moments and the movement!
Last year, 2019, due to the rainy weather, Juneteenth was held at Washington Gardner School, June 15, 2019, starting at noon. Visit the official Facebook page for complete information about the 2019 Juneteenth event:
Look below for the history of Juneteenth and past photos of some attendees.
The tradition is to start at Albion City Hall on Cass Street with a proclamation and words from the mayor at 11 a.m. Then there is a processional walk to Holland Park where there will be a day of fun and festivities.
There are usually games for children and adults, face painting, a story tent, Old school music, line dancing, and basketball. The Albion Public Safety Department is there with the fire truck and fire hose to show our young people how to be safe when there’s a fire.
There is a food court with a BBQ, friends, music, and art.
The day concludes with a Rememberance Circle and a Gospel Fest starting at 5.
This is a part of America’s History just as Memorial Day and the 4th of July are. Let’s find ways to celebrate our achievements together.
Everyone is invited to come, have fun and fellowship!
See a short video about when Albion factories invited African-American workers from the south to relocate to Albion as part of the Great Migration by clicking here:
See some posts about Holland Park, and Robert Holland by clicking the image above or clicking here:
August 1 remained a common date for celebrating emancipation in Michigan for many years. In Albion, Emancipation Day was celebrated at Booker T. Washington Community House. One historical account discusses the city’s 1927 Emancipation Day event, which reportedly drew over 3,200 African-Americans from across the state.
The event included a number of speeches, a boxing match between local youths, a baseball game, and a ball with music provided by Albion’s city band. At one point, many people gathered for a photograph:
Learn more about some even earlier Albion Black history from this post on AlbionMich.COM by Albion Historian Frank Passic: 19th CENTURY BLACK HISTORY IN ALBION
Historian Bob Wall shares information about African-American Presence in Albion on this article:
Current events from TIME magazine – Activists are pushing to make Juneteenth a national holiday:
“But, as history has made clear, freedom from slavery didn’t mean freedom from white supremacy. Local and state laws, policing practices and lynchings restricted the “absolute equality” promised by General Orders 3. Thus, the holiday has come to represent a promise unfulfilled, and each Juneteenth is a time to both reflect on that need and to bolster the hope that full equality and freedom can yet be achieved.”
Read a story by Michelle Mueller “The black-white divide continues in coronavirus deaths”