Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville's Juneteenth celebration to include Latino, Caribbean heritage

BROOKSVILLE — Organizers of the local Juneteenth Festival, traditionally a celebration of African-American history and freedom from slavery, want to branch out this year and include the county's sizable Latino and Caribbean communities.

"We think that everybody's culture is important," explained Paul Boston, chairman of the sponsoring JUSTUS Inc., a mainly black south Brooksville organization dedicated to advancing community relations and urging residents to become involved in making improvements in the neighborhood.

All ethnic groups deserve an opportunity to showcase their history, Boston said, so the festival has invited others to put their heritage on stage and to staff educational booths, showing not only their roots, but also what they provide to Hernando County's culture.

The festival, planned for June 18-20 at Russell Street Park in Brooksville, is marked every other year in Hernando County. One year it centers on music; the next time on education, awareness and services. This year, it will feature both.

"The festival is learning about yourself," Boston said.

Set amid the park's shaded landscape will be a trail covering the stages of slavery: a makeshift African village, a replica of a slave ship revealing quarters below deck, chain gangs of slaves being auctioned, plantation life under harsh masters, life on the run, punishment for those who escaped and were recaptured, runaway routes, those who helped slaves find their way North and, finally, freedom.

Each stage will feature native attire and native and gospel music.

More organizations are needed to help with the staging, Boston said.

And there will be plenty of food, he said.

"There's a rich heritage in food," Boston said, pointing out that barbecued ribs and chicken will be available, prepared by the Frederick Kelly Elks Lodge. Area churches will be among the food vendors as well.

June 19, designated Teen Health Awareness Day, will include health screenings and information on health issues.

A jazz concert will highlight Father's Day, June 20.

Throughout the festival, storytellers, poets and readers of history will appear.

If additional funding can be obtained, organizers hope to set up recreational activities for children.

Sponsorships are needed, Boston said, from a grass roots donation of $100 in merchandise or money to $5,000 for a gold sponsorship.

Prospective donors and participants may contact Boston at (352) 797-5451 or visit the JUSTUS website: www.justus.web.officelive.com.

Beth Gray can be reached at graybethn@earthlink.net.

fast facts

Juneteenth

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when news reached Galveston, Texas, of the Emancipation Proclamation, some 2 1/2 years after it was signed by President Abraham Lincoln, freeing slaves. Texas was the last outpost to learn of the news. The Union Army had to be called out to enforce the proclamation.

Brooksville's Juneteenth celebration to include Latino, Caribbean heritage 05/15/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 15, 2010 10:53am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]
  2. Trump, seething about attorney general, speculates about firing Sessions, sources say

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

  3. John McCain to return to Senate for health care vote

    WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Tuesday to try to advance a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health-care laws with the last-minute arrival of Sen. John McCain — but tough talk from President Donald Trump won no new public support from skeptical GOP senators for the flagging effort that all but …

  4. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  5. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.