SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Music, food and celebration for the first official celebration of Juneteenth in Court Square, a holiday marking the real emancipation.
“What Juneteenth means to me? It’s long overdue,” Archie Emmanuel, junior Mentor Men of Color Health Awareness member said.
“My ancestors the history the movements that we’ve made the progression that we have going on. You know more to come?” Sade Telfaire said.
“People worked hard for this. And now we’re free,” Precious Jones said.
“And when you know your history, you’ll do better,” Tynisha Campbell said.
“It’s the freedom of my people,” At Large City Councilor Tracye Whitfield said.
Councilor Whitfield also organized the event, which included live music on the steps of Springfield City Hall and a vaccine clinic on the second floor of the building.
“We are doing vaccination clinics wherever we can find individuals gathered,” Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris said.
Some are still hesitant about the vaccine still.
“They’re asking us where can I get vaccinated at or how safe is it?” Black COVID-19 Coalition volunteer Maryum Levey said.
But others are taking the plunge. One event attendee said, “Don’t be hesitant because in the Philippines, it’s really hard to get vaccinated.”
The food provided at the celebration was free and from Black-owned businesses.