Port City celebrates Juneteenth

Port City celebrates Juneteenth

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – It has been a day of celebrating freedom — Juneteenth events happening across the country commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. — including here in the Port City.

It was quite the welcome at the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday evening. The Mobile Alabama Africatown Drummers — beating their drums — keeping the tradition of rhythm alive on this Juneteenth.

“It’s not just beating the drums — we’re playing the drums and we’re communicating. It’s a cultural and it’s been passed down through generations and we’re just trying to revitalize that,” said Wayne Curtis, Mobile Alabama Africatown Drummers.

Adding some special flare to this year’s event are Bay Carnival’s Heritage Angels. A federal holiday since 2021 — Juneteenth marks freedom for all.

“Juneteenth to me is just the celebration of freedom… And the celebration of freedom — not just for us — but for everybody. Because when one group is held oppressed — and then it’s freed — it frees everyone,” said Terri DeFour, Bay Carnival’s Heritage Angels Founder.

This year’s keynote speaker was — wellness coach — best-selling author — and motivational speaker Dr. Shana Lewis.

“Juneteenth for me is the freedom of actually knowing you are actually free because they were free but didn’t know that they were free. We have to know that we are free and act accordingly,” said Dr. Lewis.

On a day to celebrate independence — Dr. Lewis’ message focused on the freedom of empowerment through entrepreneurship.

“Because when we are free to choose the life we want to live — do things we want to do… To build the way we want to build with people we love and care about — we are winning. All day long,” said Dr. Lewis.

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