FAIRBANKS — Not everyone knows the history of the community Juneteenth 2017 celebration on Saturday at Aldridge Park, 2550 Wilson St., but it is a historic day. It commemorates African-American freedom and focuses on education and achievement.
A special celebration marking the day begins Friday with a dinner honoring elders and veterans. The celebration continues from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday with vendors, a barbecue cook-off, a “Voices of Freedom” choir competition and other activities. It is sponsored by the Fairbanks NAACP.
Here’s the story behind Juneteenth 2017.
President Abraham LIncoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation of 1863” did not really change the lives of slaves, particularly those in the confederate states. It wasn’t until June 18, 1865, that Union Maj. Gen.Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops marched into Galveston, Texas, to take over the state and to enforce the emancipation of slaves.
On June 19, 1865, Gen. Granger publicly read the contents of “general order No. 3.” The celebration commemorating the end of slavery has come to be known as Juneteenth, derived from June and the suffix “teenth” as in nineteenth.
Juneteenth is traditionally celebrated with family and community. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing.
“In cities across the nation, people of all races, nationalities and religions, join hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in American history that shaped and continues to influence society today,” according to a press release. “Sensitivity to conditions and experiences of other is how we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.”
Green Star’s monthly electronic recycling is here again from 10 a.m. to 4 Friday and Saturday. Bring electronics to the University of Alaska Fairbanks central receiving warehouse, 1855 Marika Road, just off Aurora Drive.
Just about anything that gets plugged in or takes batteries is eligible to recycle. Green Star also accepts ink and toner cartridges, wires, cords, batteries, CDs, DVDs, cellphones and smoke alarms. Green Star cannot accept light bulbs.
This is a free service in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, thanks to a grant from the borough. Air Land Transport transports recyclables to Anchorage every month.
Volunteers are always welcome, including children 8 and older, with adult supervision. Volunteers generally greet customers, unload vehicles, sort and package batteries,and stack electronics.
The goal in 2017 is to collect 200 tons of recycled electronics. So far, 40.4 tons have been accepted at the recycle center.
Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call her at the office: 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.