Archive for Thursday, June 25, 2009

NAACP celebrates with annual Juneteenth event

June 25, 2009

Quindaro Park in Kansas City, Kan., named after and located in the area of a town that no longer exists, has much historical significance.

“Quindaro was one of the towns where the slaves from Parkville, Mo., swam across the Missouri River to seek refuge in Quindaro, Kan.,” said Cedric Patton, chairman for the Kansas City, Kan., NAACP Juneteenth Celebration. “It’s the oldest park in the state.”

The history surrounding the park makes it the perfect spot for this year’s Kansas City, Kan., NAACP Juneteenth Celebration, which will be on Saturday, June 27. This will be the ninth year the Kansas City, Kan., chapter of the NAACP has played host to a Juneteenth Celebration, but it is only one of many similar events taking place at about this time throughout the country in honor of not just the Emancipation Proclamation signed in 1863, but an equally important event that happened years later.

“Around two years and six months later (approximately June 19) is when the last known slaves in Galveston, Texas were notified that they were free through the emancipation,” Patton said.

The NAACP Juneteenth Celebration will feature jewelry, T-shirt and food vendors, as well as horse rides and card tournaments. Buy-in for the card games, which will include spades and bidwiz, is $2.50 for NAACP members and $5 for non-members. In addition, presenters with the Kansas City, Mo., Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics will preview the performances they are preparing for the ACT-SO national competition in New York City July 9 through July 12. Oratory, poetry and vocal and instrumental music selections will be performed by the ACT-SO presenters.

Patton said he also anticipated local politicians such as Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Joe Reardon and congressman Dennis Moore to be on hand to visit with constituents and answer any questions they might have.

He said the reason for having such an event every year was an important, but simple one.

“Just reminding people of the history of our nation,” Patton said.

The Kansas City, Kan., NAACP Juneteenth Celebration will be from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at Quindaro Park, 34th Street and Sewell Avenue. Patton said there was no cover to attend the celebration but that most of the proceeds from vendor sales and the card tournaments would go to defray the cost of putting on the event, with the rest going to help fund the ACT-SO presenters’ trip to New York. He encourages visitors to bring their own food and drink to the celebration if they so choose and, as he said, “just enjoy the day.”

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