"Lift Every Voice and Sing"

Saturday June 18, KINGSTON and NATIONWIDE. A Celebration of Juneteenth takes place here today at the New Progressive Baptist Church, 8 Hone St. promptly at 5 p.m. 

Appearing will be Professor A. J. Williams-Myers, famed civil rights photographer Jim Peppler, and the Redwing Blackbird Theater performing a short mask and puppet show. All are invited. (Information, Odell Winfield, [914] 388-3092). 

Juneteenth is also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day. Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865, and more generally the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth and is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states. 

The holiday is observed primarily in local celebrations. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, singing traditional songs and Lift Every Voice and Sing, and readings by noted African-American writers such as Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou. Celebrations may include parades, rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, and reenactments. "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was originally a poem by James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938), now often referred to as the "Black American National Anthem." For a 3 minute 32 second version of this powerful song (with lyrics) go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya7Bn7kPkLo

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