By Jennifer Earle-Jones, President, Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo, Inc.
African American communities are preparing to celebrate Juneteenth in many ways. Social and print media are promoting events throughout the nation, but nobody celebrates Juneteenth like the people of Buffalo, NY! Juneteenth Festival, Inc., the community’s host of the 46th consecutive festival in Buffalo, is preparing to blanket the city with all that is Juneteenth and we want you too, safely.
As the community anticipates next month’s events, we ask that others who are planning celebrations not use our logo, our name, Juneteenth Festival, Inc., and additional designations: Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo, Juneteenth of Buffalo Festival, and Juneteenth of Buffalo, verbally or on any written or media platforms attached to their events without our written permission. This permission is only obtained through our support and/or collaboration with others who share our mission and vision. We will not be held liable for any claims brought forth against any party or entity, as a result of any Juneteenth related activities unsanctioned by Juneteenth Festival, Inc.
This is the first year that the City of Buffalo and New York State, under the leadership of Mayor Byron Brown and Governor Andrew Cuomo, will recognize June 19th, Juneteenth, as a holiday. It is a time to solemnly recognize the inhumanity of the enslavement of Africans and African Americans for centuries before, but to also celebrate the rich and glorious history of our survival; our culture; our traditions; our pride in our ethnicity; our faith and our freedom. We, as a people, have progressed in so many areas far beyond the fringes of our ancestors’ imaginations.
The 2020-2021 “season” with regards to every element of our lives, has been unpredictable, to say the least, and influenced the JFI Board of Directors to again decide to present the Festival, virtually. We have not swayed from that decision and, as protocols and restrictions allow, we will sponsor, collaborate, and present events around WNY, during our traditional “Sankofa Days”, pre-festival weekend, in June 2021.
In the spirit of Juneteenth, we encourage the community to recognize and celebrate Juneteenth however you desire. Whether by raising your Liberation flags; wearing t-shirts; having yard parties/cookouts, tooting your horns, and singing and dancing, we want the world to inquire and learn about what is Juneteenth and why we continue to celebrate an event that happened 156 years ago!
Please celebrate safely, and while you’re waiting for June, please watch our 2021 Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo trailer at: