Community members to host celebration in honor of Juneteenth

On Saturday the Hopkinsville-Christian County Boys and Girls Club center will be taken over by vendors, live music, family fun, local history and much more for Hopkinsville’s second annual Juneteenth celebration.  

 Juneteenth National Independence Day is a federal holiday on June 19 commemorating African Americans’ fight for freedom and the end of slavery in the U.S. as well as recognizing the steps that still need to be made to achieve equality and justice. 

Bonnie Lynch, from the Juneteenth Celebration Committee and the Divine Nine and Friends shared that the festivities kick-off at 1 p.m. on Saturday with a welcome prayer followed by live music and dance performances.

Then at 2 p.m., University of Kentucky History Professor, Gerald Smith will be speaking about the history of slavery in Kentucky and sharing excerpts from his book, “Slavery and Freedom in the Bluegrass State: Revisiting My Old Kentucky Home.”

Turning toward local history, the Museums of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County and Visit Hopkinsville have partnered to offer bus tours. The tours will be narrated by Gwenda Motley and Alissa Keller who will be spotlighting local African American history.

The tours will be departing from the center at 1:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Later in the day, Lynch says they are looking forward to hosting a fashion show, which will spotlight African attire and culture, more dance groups and music by ensembles from the Pennyrile Area Community Band.

Since many people across the region celebrate 8th of August as an emancipation holiday, Lynch she says she looks forward to educating people about Juneteenth while celebrating the Black community.

More about Saturday’s local Juneteenth celebration can be found at Hopkinsville Juneteenth Celebration on Facebook. The celebration is free to attend and kicks off at 1 p.m. and concludes at 6 p.m.