Cape Girardeau’s first city-wide Juneteenth Celebration encourages togetherness

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – Learning from the past helps us move forward.

And Cape Girardeau Juneteenth Committee Chairman Ron North said Juneteenth puts that message into light.

“It is an opportunity for us as Americans to look back at history, figure out what we’ve done well, and what we’ve done not so well, and take that opportunity to fix the things that we can fix, learn to love one another more, give to one another more, serve one another more,” he said.

Several organizations worked together to put on Cape Girardeau’s first city-wide Juneteenth Celebration, which included vendors, music, food, and other activities scattered throughout Ivers Square.

MaKenya Owens, Community Coordinator for One City, said in addition to all the fun, this day was an educational opportunity.

“The biggest thing with today was really just letting people know what Juneteenth is, and explaining to them the events that have occurred throughout history that have led to this being essentially the second Emancipation Proclamation, and what it looks like to be free, what freedom looks like, and how important unity is here in our community,” she said.

The celebration’s theme, Doing It Together, helped drive home the point that we are stronger as a unified whole.

“Our point in that was to bring people from different areas to town, people from different churches, different community organizations, just all walks of life, bringing them here to this one space, so that we could celebrate and acknowledge this holiday together,” Owens said.

So let us not dwell in the past, but instead learn from it and grow stronger because of it.

“Our history is not something we should run and hide from,” North said. “History is something we should learn from [and use to] gain inspiration to do better and draw closer to one another.”

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