BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — This past weekend Buffalo celebrated Juneteenth in a virtual way. There's a five-hour video posted on Facebook showcasing many local organizations and how they are celebrating the holiday.
Juneteenth is about celebrating freedom and the end of slavery in America. Educational Director for the African American Cultural Center, Ta’Ria Wideman says coming together to celebrate 155 years of freedom is incredibly important right now as the black community continues its fight for equality.
“Juneteenth is like our holiday, it’s the longest-running African American holiday in this country so it is really important to us and I am really excited to see it growing especially after this movement,” Wideman said.
The official holiday is celebrated on June 19th. Wideman says people can celebrate by safety coming together, and educating themselves about the history of the holiday. The neighbors surrounding The African American Cultural Center on Masten Avenue hear the sounds of the African drums quite a bit.
The AACC drum troop brings the heartbeat of every song, Marvin Harris one of the drummers says he loves to play as a way for people to come together.
“When I play a song like that mostly it comes from the heart, there’s a lot of love there and it gives me hope,” Harris said. “Let’s get together, stop the violence, bring peace, and get over this COVID-19,” Harris said.
The AACC is slowly reopening offering zoom workshops for students and will be hosting an outdoor movie night in their parking lot soon.
Educating, communicating, and safely gathering-- Harris says is what we need.
“We lost that togetherness, hopefully, this brings us back together someway,” Harris said.