Juneteenth celebrations begin with community festival hosted by Baltimore City church

Juneteenth celebrations begin with community festival hosted by Baltimore City church


BALTIMORE — Juneteenth is Wednesday and celebrations are already underway as a community festival was held at the Pennsylvania Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church on Saturday. 

This weekend was especially action-packed with so many festivities around Charm City including Fleet Week and the Baltimore Pride Parade. 

However, to celebrate Juneteenth, AME Zion Church members and the entire Upton community had a fun-filled day of activities. 
“I’m excited to come all together and meet other communities and people around here and help out,” Trinity Mcfadden, a young church member said. 
The faith-based community came together in honor of the day in 1865, two years after the emancipation proclamation, when the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned they were free. 
“Liberation means more than just saying you are free. They were liberated, but they were not equipped, purposefully, to do the things liberated people should do. So, it really wasn’t liberation it was the same thing with a different face,” said Lula Williams, an elderly church member. 
Igniting a long road to equality, for elders like Ms. Williams, it’s so essential to understand where you’ve come from to navigate the present and the future. 
In order to do so, the church hosted a historical landmark walkathon, a black history quiz bowl competition, and more. 
“I just really learned more about our history right here in Baltimore City,” Debra Stallings, another church member said. “It’s so rich right here around us.”  

“Learning about your history is really important. When you find out who you are and what happened all those ages ago, so you can know who you are, who your ancestors are,” McFadden explained. 
The celebration was jam packed with food, face painting, local vendors and community resources.   
“We are also reaching out to the community to show them compassion and love and empathy and let them know that we care about them. And we want to let them know that we want them to be a part of what we are doing on this corner at the Pennsylvania Ave AME Zion Church,” Stallings added.