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Community celebrates past, future during Juneteenth events

Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 10:45 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Business owners, local organizations and county officials were among the many who filled the Bryan streets Saturday for the 10th annual Juneteenth parade. It ran from Kemp Carver Elementary School to Sadie Thomas Memorial Park. This is an event Joe White said he always looks forward to.

“It’s a day for us to come together as a nation, as a people to enjoy today’s festivities and also celebrate our heritage,” White said.

It’s the history of Juneteenth that Betty Robinson said is important for the youth to learn at events like the parade. Robinson participated in the parade with the Rho Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.,

“Since it was late that we got the news that slaves had been free, it’s just wonderful that the community, and the county and everybody can get together and celebrate this wonderful occasion.”

Along with the parade, the Brazos Valley African American Heritage and Cultural Society and Destination Bryan hosted a Juneteenth Celebration at Sadie Thomas Memorial Park directly after the parade. The Juneteenth Blues Fest was held later in the evening to celebrate black music and art. The night featured “Eugene Eugene” and the band “Hard to Find” from Houston.

“All music came from blues,” Kenya Roquemore said. “They sang it in the fields, and it sounded like church music. That music turned into rhythm and blues where they were playing it in the juke joints. It carried on over into our hip hop, rock and country.

Roquemore, a member of the Brazos Valley African American Heritage and Cultural Society Juneteenth planning committee, said Saturday was a reminder of how far Black people have come and the importance of keeping Juneteenth’s legacy alive.

“I’m just hoping that educationally it broadens their minds,” Roquemore said. “I hope that they understand that we have to respect our past in order to move forward as a people. I hope that it inspires them to want to know more about themselves and about their state.”

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