SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Black Springfield COVID-19 Coalition played host to a pre-July 4th celebration at Springfield’s Cozy Courtyard Pavilion near Mason Square.

The Coalition director, State Representative Bud Williams invited UMass African Studies professor Dr. Amilcar Shabazz to point out the significance of that brief period from Juneteenth to the Fourth of July: the emancipation to independence.

“The 19th of June to the fourth of July is the time we can really think about the convergence of two histories,” Dr. Shabazz said. “The history of the people of African descent, and the history of European descent.”

Representative Williams praised Dr. Shabazz’s clear cut definition of how best to use those days between the two holidays. By linking them to one common purpose, leading to a better understanding between the races.

“People don’t understand the history,” Representative Williams said. “It’s important that we tell the history because then we can learn from the history and we don’t want to go back to that history.

As Representative Williams explained, the two holidays offer everyone the opportunity to reflect on the qualities that true freedom requires.

Saturday’s gathering may likely be just the first of many future gatherings between Juneteenth and the Fourth of July.