Ossining, NY--The Juneteenth Council, in collaboration with the Village and Town of Ossining, is proud to announce two exciting events in the month of June. First will be raising the official Juneteenth flag for the first time on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at 9 am at Market Square (corner of Main St and Spring St). To continue the celebration, Ossining's second annual Juneteenth celebration will be held at the Ossining Riverfront on Saturday, June 19 at noon. The events are inspired by the first Juneteenth celebration in Galveston, TX, in 1866. Curated to recreate that momentous day, the ceremony will focus on history and the importance of our voting rights and feature spoken word and musical performances.
We are proud that the flag will be flown throughout the entire month of June to acknowledge and honor the freedom of formerly enslaved Africans in America, as well as the ancestors of Ossining's black community. Ossining is the only community in Westchester County to raise this official flag and keep it raised through the month of June.
The ceremonies will be attended by local, county, and state elected officials, as well as representatives from the Ossining Union Free School District, the Juneteenth Council, clergy from Ossining's Black churches (Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Holy Spirit Church, and HORAC ministries), and students from Ossining High School MBK program.
The Juneteenth Council and The Village and Town of Ossining are excited to host these events and look forward to celebrating Juneteenth with the local community residents.
History of the Juneteenth Council
In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the heightened civil unrest in the country, four dynamic African American Ossining women (Joyce Cole, Juanda Dabbs, Althema Goodson, and Diana Lemon) banded together to create programs to educate, uplift, and empower the African American Community of Ossining. As a result, in May 2020, they formed the Juneteenth Council.
On June 19, 2020, in less than three weeks, they organized and executed the first Juneteenth celebration in Ossining, attended by state and local politicians. The celebration also included music performances, food vendors, a voter registration booth, and a Juneteenth history lesson. The cost was covered entirely by the four women.
The Juneteenth Council has hosted zoom seminars on various topics such as mental health, genealogy workshops, financial literacy, HR 40 legislation, Advocating for children at school, and more. They also organized and hosted a rally for black women called "CROWN," which promoted pride in heritage and self and KING for black men promoting the same.