BELMONT, N.C. (News Release) — Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, specifically the June 19, 1865 reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas.
Elements of Empowerment, Inc., and the City of Belmont have hosted the Belmont Juneteenth Celebration since 2012. It has become the signature cultural event of Gaston County that attracts a curated group of cultural vendors. This ninth year was to be a dressed rehearsal for the 2021 10th anniversary of the event. That was before the COVID-19 pandemic and murder of North Carolina-native George Floyd made the celebration nearly impossible to execute, yet, more relevant and important than ever. The organization and city agreed on plans for a virtual event just days before Floyd’s murder. His death awakened the nation to racial injustices. As social outcries against racism and brutality increased, so did the relevancy and importance of Juneteenth.
Slavery, racism, and brutality are interrelated. Juneteenth simultaneously celebrates the abolishment of physical enslavement and gives hope that empowers us to enact social changes that will defeat racism.
Elements of Empowerment, Inc. is dedicated to fostering cultural awareness, acceptance, and preservation by educating, enriching, and empowering communities through artistic cultural programs, presentations, and events. Juneteenth is the very genesis and culmination of this mission.
The 2020 Belmont Juneteenth Celebration opportunities continue through June 20 and include a virtual 2K Family & Friends Freedom Walk and a virtual parade. Due to recent weather, the walk has been extended through June 30.
The virtual format extends the Belmont Juneteenth Celebration invitation beyond the city and county borders. The Montcross Area Chamber webcam and Facebook will potentially project the celebration events to the world.
Just as last year, Bessemer City is collaborating with Elements of Empowerment, Inc. for Juneteenth Weekend. Bessemer City will host their Virtual Juneteenth Festival Friday, June 19, 2020 on their Facebook page.
For additional information about the Belmont Juneteenth Celebration, visit the Elements of Empowerment, Inc. Facebook page, Belmont Juneteenth Celebration Facebook page, event website: https://elements-of-empowerment-inc.square.site/, or send email to email@example.com.