"I wanted to show these kids that we came from greatness. It is a time to set an example in the community. This is the perfect time for this to happen right now," Jordan said. He organized a community gathering at Bicentennial Park that he said was truly a community effort.
Food and fun for the kids were inter-dispersed with a speech from Mayor Leroy Stearns and others sharing information and stories.
Jordan says he plans on this being an annual event with plans on expanding it next year.
Kiki Clegg whose ancestors were among those slaves freed in Texas in 1865, told of the importance Juneteenth has grown to become in her life. Below I'll share excerpts from the speech she delivered to those in attendance.
Of those African Americans freed were my mother's family
Growing up I remember my mom gearing up for Juneteenth
Inviting all the my friends to eat, listen to music and hear how my moms family was freed.
And how it was so important for us not to forget.
I didn’t see why we would want to remember - we were free now
and to my childish mind it was long ago.
As a kid I didn’t really get it. I didn’t see how important this was
for our family.
I didn’t care much, I just wanted the food.
It was after having my son that I began to appreciate,
not only the day, but my heritage and the connections to our family that my mother was teaching us.
Such as John Robert Edward Lee, Sr. (January 26, 1864 – April 6, 1944) who was an early leader in African-American education.
He served as the third President of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, a historically black college, from 1924 to 1944.
He tutored himself beyond his secondary education so he could take the placement exams and earn an A.B. from Bishop College. He would later serve as the head of the Math Division of the Tuskegee Institute on Booker T. Washington.
He founded the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools, an organization that would serve as the precursor for the National Education Association for Black educators.
However, his most important work was as an administrator for Florida A&M University. He took the university from a flailing institution after a fire ravaged the campus to an institution with nearly 400 acres of land, expanded extension courses, and recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
His legacy lives on FAMU, which graduates more Black American undergraduates, attorney's, and PhDs than any other institution within the United States. His testimony illustrates how Black Texans took the strength of their struggle to achieve gains for all of Black America. He was my great great grandfather
Or Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931) was an American investigative journalist, educator, and an early leader in the civil rights movement. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Over the course of her lifetime she was dedicated to combating prejudice and violence against blacks.
In the 1890s, she documented lynching in the United States through her indictment called "Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in all its Phases," investigating frequent claims of whites that lynchings were reserved for black criminals only.
She exposed lynching as a barbaric practice of whites in the south who lynching to intimidate and oppress African Americans who created economic and political competition — and a subsequent threat of loss to the power whites held.
These are just some of my family.
They were free to walk in their path as I follow in their steps
Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and of our continual progress.
We continue to persist despite and because of all obstacles meant to deter us.
I’m here today celebrating with my family and community.
It is about coming together and uniting.
This year 2020 Juneteenth holds a even deeper significance, we are again marching just as we did 20 years ago,40 years ago 60 years ago.
Celebrations of Juneteenth are happening across the globe.
Our voices are being heard and amplified.
We are walking a path set before by our freed ancestors.
The strength and resilience of black people is amazing.
We no longer are waiting to be invited to the table we are building our own table.
We are no longer asking to be heard we are making ourselves heard." - Kiki Clegg, 6-19-2020