Black Expo celebrates 5th annual Juneteenth, embracing education

June 19, 2022 | 12:09 am

Updated June 18, 2022 | 11:13 pm

The Owensboro Black Expo spent their fifth annual Juneteenth celebrating like never before with the new additions to the festivities.

This year with several partnerships between community organizations like Southern Star, Target, Brescia and a number of other booths, they were able to host the firework show, some activities for the guests.

They also had the opportunity to collaborate with a church in Evansville and provide a gospel experience with a live choir.

Black Expo President Dominique Maddox said this year that being able to be in the community of so many people is a part of the education process of Juneteenth.

While the Expo had just learned of the holiday about 5 years ago, she said that seeing more people come out to events like the celebration showcase a desire to learn and embrace the history.

“It’s not just your history. It’s our history. We’re all Americans at the end of the day. I was born here which makes me an American, so this is our history and it’s okay,” Maddox said.

She said one of the important lessons of Juneteenth is the freedom of Black people in the country and being able to partake in celebrating that history. As she looked around at the vendors, she noted that there were several different types of vendors ranging from artists, nonprofits, education, and dancers it’s showcasing the many talents of Black people.

“I’m so glad that we are at a place where we can embrace it. I’m embracing all my Blackness, all of it. I don’t try to dim it down anymore,” she said.

She said that in her ability to find her own freedom she was met with more people wanting to learn and ask questions about what it is like for her and her experience.

To which she welcomes. She said when people are questioning they are wanting to embrace a new perspective.

“I have co-workers that never heard of Juneteenth. I have people in my family who don’t know what Juneteenth is, but I’m gonna explain it to them and I’m going to explain why we did it and I think that’s the beauty of Juneteenth,” Maddox said.

Rafe Buckner, Northwest Neighborhood Alliance Chair, said that holding events like the Juneteenth celebration in Kendall-Perkins Park helps showcase the fun that can be held at that park.

“The community gets a ton of kids out here and we just want to create memories and just stuff that they can look back on,” Buckner said.

Nonetheless, Maddox said while they’re extremely thankful for it’s second year as a federal holiday, they hope they have the opportunity to continue to celebrate for many more years and expand with something new each time.

June 19, 2022 | 12:09 am

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