The Juneteenth festival held Saturday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Dallas was a chance to celebrate and also educate people about the historic day.
“Two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, in Galveston, Texas, the slaves were notified they were free. So it’s a day of celebration. It’s a day of love, sharing, and all of us being free,” said Clinton Baker, a community partner with the center.
More than 600 gallons of milk and appliances were passed out to families impacted by COVID-19, but the event was also about informing people.
Attendees could pick up information on how to become an ally. People interested in learning more can also visit the center, which offers resources and classes for the community, including on the significance of Juneteenth.
“It brings awareness to the holiday, for those who don’t understand what Juneteenth means,” Baker said.
Jeff Allison, who is white, said Juneteenth makes him want to get involved and learn more.
“I am a native Texan, so I would say I’ve been familiar with it since roughly my teenage years,” said Allison, a vendor with Oak Farms Dairy.
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Volunteer Sandee Treptow with Reliant hopes Juneteenth sparks conversations that continue long after Saturday with Black coworkers, neighbors and friends.
“Just ask them. Talk to them, and understand,” she said.