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Omaha brings Juneteenth celebrations to community with Freedom Festival

There were performances, food and activities
Posted at 9:29 AM, Jun 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-20 10:55:43-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV)  — On Saturday, Omaha celebrated Juneteenth with a Freedom Festival at the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation.

There was food, performances and activities for the kids.

This was the first year of the Freedom Festival and organizers say they wanted to bring the joy to our community.

"Omaha has a rich heritage anyway, we’ve got Native Omaha Days coming up with that and just bringing the community together as a whole. That’s for all around the city of Omaha so that everybody can learn about the different heritages that go on here," said Karen Davis of Freedomtainment, the organization that hosted the festival.

To kick off the festival, Cynthia Robinson, Department Chair of Black Studies at UNO, read the Emancipation Proclamation but reminded the audience that the document did not free all the slaves.

"Of course the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery. Although Texas was in rebellion, Texas had decided that they weren't going to end slavery either," Robinson said.

Local organizers say that while we should celebrate Juneteenth and its importance, there's still progress to be made.

"The real issue is the work is continued and not done. The celebration gives us an anchor to have these celebrations," said local activist Preston Love Jr.