By: Bryan Boggiano
Coral Springs’ Juneteenth event brought attendees from the tri-county area to commemorate the abolishment of slavery in the United States.
Host Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons spoke about the importance of learning history and keeping the fight for racial equality going, saying, “as a nation, we have come very far, but not far enough.”
“Not all of history is pretty… [but] Juneteenth signifies our ability as a nation to keep working towards a more perfect union,” he said afterward. “We can’t run from what happened, but we can educate each other, commit to keep improving, and be proud of how far we have come together.
He said that roughly 700 people attended –including families and people of all age groups and backgrounds.
The celebration featured performances by the Valerie Tyson Band and Kat Riggins with performances incorporating themes of blues, soul, funk, and jazz.
The Sigma Delta Delta Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated did a step performance, while spoken word artist May Reign performed two original poems. Visual artist JaQuale Rhule did a freestyle painting while Reign recited the poems, “Dear Sir” and “Black Girl Magic,” based on what she heard and felt.
The first poem addressed slavery and racism in the Jim Crow-era South. Between verses, she incorporated verses from “Strange Fruit” and “Proud Mary.” In her second poem, she invoked the struggles and triumphs of modern-day black women and called on the spirits of the women’s ancestors. She sought to lift up young girls by making them realize their black girl magic.
“I could feel the energy, the love, the understanding, and the inclusion from the stage,” Reign said. “It was such a beautiful reflection of the city.”
Besides the performers, various black-owned businesses from Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties appeared.
“Events like Juneteenth continue to show the strength of America,” Simmons said. “It shows how Black people in this country continued to persevere and added to the strength of America.”
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master’s. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.