Second Annual Juneteenth Event Held At NDSU Renaissance Hall

"Juneteenth means to me, equity, liberation, abolition, family, food, sovereignty, and justice in every way that we can imagine."

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — People are getting out and about on this day to celebrate the new federal holiday.

“We got love. We got people here and I think the biggest thing is we have unification. When you think of the Swahili word, Umoja it means to unify. To be a unified front and that’s what we need here in North Dakota,” Event Curator, Fred Edwards Jr. said.

Edwards is the curator of the second annual Juneteenth event hosted at the NDSU Renaissance Hall. This comes after President Bident signed a bill making June 19th a federal holiday.

“Juneteenth means to me, equity, liberation, abolition, family, food, sovereignty, and justice in every way that we can imagine,” one of the event attendees said.

The event includes so many activities for the community to enjoy. There are chalk drawings, paintings, caricatures, hair braiding, food, business tables, and live performances.

“You should come out to an event to learn something. You should come out to embrace one another,” Edwards said.

Although the holiday marks the day slavery ended in America, some believe the work is still far from over.

“There’s still a lot of laws coming into place to prevent voting for minorities or the Black community, so it’s kind of like yeah it’s good, but more can be done. We do appreciate the time to set up and stay out of work and just celebrate our culture with people who look like us and allies as well,” Local Artist, Franklin Ugochukwu said.

Ugochukwu brought a canvas with a black woman in the middle. He wants the community to paint whatever they want on it.

“I’m Nigerian. I come from a culture where we take pride in our blackness. We take pride in our heritage and coming over here in the US, a lot of people don’t have that because they don’t have that culture they could draw from. I think with my art. I’m showing people who look like me that live over here that we’re beautiful. We’re worth it. I feel like a good way to do that is to share art with people,” Ugochukwu said.

One event attendee says it’s a big loss for those who couldn’t make it.

“If you didn’t make it you missed a great time. A lot of community resources that you can use to better your life,” Event Attendee, Fortay Johnson said.

There was a time capsule buried today with Senator Tim Mathern.

We have a link by clicking here for more information from Fred Edwards.

Franklin Ugochukwu art can be found by clicking here.