Juneteenth is a federal holiday for the first time this year, but on Saturday, Attleboro, Massachusetts, will be holding its second annual event to mark the day.
Debra Britt has been celebrating Juneteenth since she was a child.
“It has always been about the family, the community, the food, the coming together,” she said.
Now Britt is helping to sponsor Attleboro‘s second event, which hundreds are expected to attend. As the founder of the Black Doll Museum, she will have an exhibit, but she also feels a responsibility to teach and correct African-American history.
“Knowledge is power," she said. "And so when people learn about Juneteenth and when they learn about the health fighters, they can learn about Black Wall Street… I am really encouraged that people are starting to know their history.”
Hundreds are expected at Capron Park for the ethnic food and to see the African dancers, and gospel rapper.
“We are having fun. We are having a blast,” Britt said.
Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux said, “We don’t have a large African-American population here. However, it is still a very diverse community and the different populations typically like to support each other.”
“It’s the end of slavery and there should be something celebrated so everybody kind of feels a little bit more equal,” Attleboro resident Laura Davis said.
“I think it’s more important than 1776,” another Attleboro resident said.
More on Juneteenth
For Chantel Mayo of North Attleboro, she'll be a part of the festivities Saturday with her family.
“Tomorrow we’ll be out here celebrating and enjoying all the activities and everything with the families and the kids and just unity. Not only for black people, but for everyone," she said.
Mayo’s daughter Chya sums it up best.
“I just feel as though we should all be equal and we should all have a voice and we should all feel safe,” she said.
When the Juneteenth festivities wrap up in Attleboro on Saturday, the celebration will move on to Walpole where it will continue from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m.