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Embracing Juneteenth: Honoring Freedom and Unity at Riverfront Family Church

We have the privilege of acknowledging and celebrating an important milestone in American history—Juneteenth. This day, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. At Riverfront Family Church, we embrace the significance of Juneteenth, recognizing it as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the African American experience and promote unity within our community.


On June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and declared the end of slavery, over two years after President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth holds immense historical and cultural importance, symbolizing freedom from bondage and serving as a reminder of the journey towards equality and justice for all Americans.


At Riverfront Family Church, we believe in fostering an inclusive and diverse environment that celebrates the richness of our collective heritage. Embracing Juneteenth allows us to engage in meaningful conversations that deepen our empathy and understanding. By learning about the African American experience and its lasting impact, we can cultivate unity within our congregation and community.


To support your exploration of Juneteenth and facilitate insightful discussions, we recommend the following resources:


1. Reading Materials:

  • "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration" by Isabel Wilkerson

  • "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" by Ibram X. Kendi

  • "Juneteenth: A Novel" by Ralph Ellison

  • "The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead

2. Videos and Documentaries:

  • "13th" (Netflix documentary) directed by Ava DuVernay

  • "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" (PBS series) presented by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

  • "I Am Not Your Negro" (documentary) directed by Raoul Peck

3. Websites and Articles:

  • National Museum of African American History & Culture: Juneteenth Resource Guide (https://nmaahc.si.edu/juneteenth)

  • Juneteenth.com (https://www.juneteenth.com/history/)

4. If you're interested in participating in Juneteenth events or celebrations in or near Hartford, Connecticut, we encourage you to consider the following local happenings:

  • Juneteenth Jubilee at The Amistad Center for Art & Culture

  • Juneteenth Celebration at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza

  • Juneteenth Heritage Festival at Bushnell Park

Juneteenth presents an opportunity for Riverfront Family Church to come together, honor our shared history, and work towards a future of unity, understanding, and equal opportunities for all. Let us embrace this occasion by engaging in conversations, reflecting on our past, and actively fostering an environment of respect within our church and wider community.


If you have any questions, suggestions, or additional resources related to Juneteenth that you'd like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments. Together, let's celebrate Juneteenth with reverence, gratitude, and a commitment to building a better tomorrow.


Blessings,


Pastor Ben

Pastor Michael

Pastor Liza

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