Juneteenth traces its beginnings to June 19, 1865, when slaves in Texas first learned of their freedom two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. The Martha’s Vineyard branch of the NAACP will hold its annual Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 22, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on Spring street in Vineyard Haven.
This year the organization is dedicating its program to the memory of past president Natalie Ellen Dickerson who died of kidney disease in April. The event will feature guest speaker Dr. Jorge Rios, medical director of the American Red Cross New England division of blood services. The musical program will be presented by the U.S. Slave Song Project Spirituals Choir under the direction of Jim Thomas.
A potluck dinner will be served in the parish hall after the program, so bring a dish to pass or a suggested donation of $5. The church is air-conditioned, handicapped accessible and has devices available for those with impaired hearing. Call Barbara Linton at 508-627-0546 for more information.