Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jubilee Day service focuses on a hopeful future

BROOKSVILLE — The nods and utterances of amen said it all.

One hundred and forty-six years after it was abolished by the U.S. government, the subject of slavery still elicits passion and emotion. To the assembly gathered Thursday at the Allen Temple AME church in Brooksville, the third annual Jubilee Day observance offered a reflective setting to look back at black America's long journey from slavery to freedom.

About 100 guests sat in wooden pews inside the storied church on Leonard Street and sang along to familiar hymns, listened to Bible scriptures and reveled in thoughtful sermons meant to evoke both a historical reverence for the past as well as a hopeful eye toward the future, one that involves the inauguration later this month of the first African-American to be elected president of the United States.

The event, which has been hosted by the Hernando County Branch NAACP for the past three years, emphasized the spiritual importance and religious symbolism of President Abraham Lincoln's signing into law the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.

Speaker John Waddy punctuated his reading of the Proclamation with a sharp reminder of the enduring spirit of black America's ancestors.

"I don't need freedom when I'm dead. I can't live on tomorrow's bread," said Waddy, borrowing inspiration from a poem Langston Hughes wrote about freedom and democracy.

Pastor Herman Scriven of the Eastside House of God said that while freedom in its self is worth celebrating, African-Americans might never be completely free of the effects of hundreds of years of oppression.

"The wounds of slavery still fester in America," said Scrivens, adding that there has never been a collective apology to African-Americans for the suffering that he said left black America forever scarred.

"We built a nation on their backs," Scrivens said. "And those two words, 'I'm sorry' have yet to come forth.

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Jubilee Day service focuses on a hopeful future 01/02/09 [Last modified: Friday, January 9, 2009 10:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest


    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other


    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.