5:19 PM / Tuesday March 28, 2023

25 Jun 2012

MARC re-establishes African Heritage Parade

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June 25, 2012 Category: Diaspora Posted by:

African Americans in Philadelphia will celebrate the 148th Anniversary of Juneteenth with the establishment of African American Heritage Month and the re-establishment of an African Heritage Parade. The plans were announced by Curtis Brown, executive director of the Minority Arts Resource Council (MARC) at a City Hall reception. Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown presented MARC and its supporters with a city council citation as a token of her support. MARC has organized a coalition that is launching a yearlong celebration which will culminate with the parade in June 2013.


Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration to mark the partial end of slavery in the United States.On June 19, 1865, enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas were the last to learn of their freedom from Union Troops escorted by the U.S. Colored Troops. Since then, Juneteenth has been celebrated in over 200 cities throughout the nation and acknowledges the continuing quest for freedom by African Americans.


“This is our way of commemorating our African ancestors and establishing the Juneteenth celebration in Philadelphia as an institution as it is celebrated in the south,” explained Brown. “We are also re-establishing an annual African American parade, which has not been produced since the AfricaAmericas parade of the 90s. The year-long activities leading up to the parade will focus on engaging children and youth, and exposing them to African culture and history from throughout the Diaspora.


The late Dr. Edward Robinson proved that once our youth know their true history and understand their place in this world, the negative behavior stops and they begin excelling in school. We are dedicated to following his great example.”


Some of the activities planned for the coming year include a poster contest, an African umbrella design competition and exhibit, an Afrocentric fashion show featuring local African American designers and an African Heritage Charity Run. MARC is especially interested in youth involvement in the planning of activities.


The announcement included a commemoration of Prince Joseph Cinque, an enslaved African, who along with his fellow captives successfully revolted aboard the slave ship Amistad, took control of the schooner, and steered it to Montauk, New York. After being imprisoned, Cinque and his comrades were later freed with the assistance of President John Quincy Adams who represented them during the historic trial.


“Each year during the Juneteenth celebration we will acknowledge contributions of other Africans and African Americans, marking June as African-American Heritage Month,” said Brown. “Joseph Cinque was chosen as our first because of his fearlessness in refusing to be enslaved and courageously taking his freedom right from the start.”


For more information on events or to get involved, call MARC at 215/236-2688. Since 1978, MARC, has been providing artists of color with opportunities to display their art.

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