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Orange County Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Initiative announces Third Annual Juneteenth celebration


Wednesday is Juneteenth, or Emancipation Day, the holiday created by Black Americans to celebrate and commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.  

Historians affirm what celebrants of Juneteenth have long known: that slavery’s overthrow was the culmination of countless acts of resilience, resistance, organizing, and uprising by enslaved and formerly enslaved people.  

Similarly, the Black community created and preserved Juneteenth traditions over many years while continuing to be victimized by systematic oppression.  

Juneteenth is a good day to take a stand for looking honestly at the full reality of our nation’s history. If the rich and varied history of Juneteenth is new to you, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has created a wonderful site where you can learn more. Let us follow the example of the Black community in celebrating a momentous step forward while never losing sight of how far we have to go to secure full freedom and equality for all.  

Residents are invited to join Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and the Orange County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Initiative for this year’s Juneteenth Celebration, “Juneteenth: Progression from Then to Now Through Song & Dance” scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, 2024, at the Orange County Multicultural Center, located at 7149 West Colonial Drive, Orlando.

The event is free, open to the public, and will showcase the progression of the African American culture through song, dance, cultural artifacts, education, financial fortitude, and mental health and wellness.

There will be live entertainment, free giveaways, and onsite community partners to highlight their resources and services.

On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners will also present an official proclamation to commemorate and recognize the equality and progression of African Americans in Central Florida and across the globe in the spirit of Juneteenth. Through collaboration and inclusion, Orange County will continue to create a community culture that works for everyone.

While Juneteenth recognizes the freedom of African Americans, it also promotes continuous self-development and respect for all cultures and ethnicities. It has begun to take on a more national, symbolic, and even global perspective. The events of 1865 will never be forgotten. Embracing cultural differences breeds a sense of growth and cohesiveness.

For more information, please contact Ronda Robinson, Special Assistant to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, at Ronda.Robinson@ocfl.net.

To learn more about the Orange County Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Initiative, please visit https://www.ocfl.net/MLK.

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