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History and heritage: Juneteenth celebrations held across Omaha

This year's theme was honoring legends and legacies
Posted at 12:30 PM, Jun 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-19 13:30:45-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — This year's Juneteenth Joy Fest brought people out to celebrate the many things that make up Black culture.

“We're celebrating our culture. We're celebrating our people. We're celebrating our history and our heritage,” said Preston Love Jr., vice president of NAACP.

At the same time, it also celebrated the impact of local Black history and culture here in North Omaha.

The historical 24th Street has played a key role in Black history in Omaha. Both good and bad happened there and left their mark on many.

“It's monumental you know 24th Street means a lot to North Omaha in general,” said spectator Nichelle Brown.

The theme for this year's Juneteenth celebration was honoring legends and legacies. So it only makes sense then that this year's Juneteenth celebration was brought back to its original location along the 24th Street corridor.

“This has been a vibrant community in the past and now it's coming back,” said Love.

Bringing the parade here is only part of the effort to restore this area as a community hub. Plans are underway to improve and revitalize the corridor.

Organizers of the parade say they're looking forward to a future for this area that's grounded in its past.

“And then the legends, all of the great people who have grown up and have gone on to do great things,” said Love.

Much like the meaning of the holiday, people stress the importance of remembrance.

“We should be aware that while change has happened (but) change is still needed,” said Love.

Honoring the past while they remain hopeful for a brighter future.

“I want them to see the history, the rich history of our city, our community, our people and I want them eventually to attain true freedom,” said Brown.

Events celebrating Juneteenth weren't limited to the parade. A celebration of freedom was also held at the Malcolm X Memorial in North Omaha.

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