EUGENE, Ore.-- The Juneteenth celebrations continued into Saturday, as community members gathered at Alton Baker Park for a historic celebration.
The event was hosted by Eugene’s Black Led Action Coalition, Xscape Dance Academy and H.O.N.E.Y, which stands for Honoring Our New Ethnic Youth.
Participants took part in live performances, music and education along with multiple black-owned food carts and vendors.
This was the second day of celebrations in the Eugene area.
Ratie Dangarembwa-Morgan is a Eugene resident and performed at Saturday’s event.
“Hoping to spread the light that we bring as beautiful black people,” Dangarembwa-Morgan said. “As an African, I feel like it's important for me to come and support my family, brothers and sisters who were once enslaved. On this day we celebrate their freedom.”
Some told KEZI 9 News that everyone should value the importance of this holiday regardless of their race.
“It’s really important for all races to be here and to learn about black culture and to learn about why we celebrate Juneteenth,” Dr. King Silky, a local radio host, said. “More importantly, it’s important for them to learn why we say “Black Lives Matter.”
He said this celebration gives everyone a chance to learn more about the history of Juneteenth.
“Juneteenth to me means those trailblazers and those black pioneers who made the ultimate sacrifice, either by death or by beating or just their blood, sweat and tears to make sure I took full advantage of the education and opportunities that they laid down their life for," Dr. King Silky said.
Sarah Monae Bullock runs a company with her husband called Marathon Athletics. She said Saturday was about unity.
“I am, as you can see, a black queen and I’m out here supporting the black community,” Bullock said. “I’m always down for that. Im always here to support and to be here to support my people.”
Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19 every year, recognizes the day that the last group of slaves in Texas were freed.