ADINKRA ART – Promise Porter and Evelyn Baskerville work on an Adinkra design at the African American Heritage and Music Festival. Adinkra art west African symbol art.
ORGANIZERS – The African American Heritage and Music Festival was the brainchild of Leon McNeal who says he is passing the torch to Valerie Poston (right).
The African American Heritage and Music Festival, with the theme “Celebrating Culture & Community,” relaunched Saturday, June 17.
According to Marvin Sikes, Mayor and local historian, the festival has not been active in Humboldt since about 1924.
Alderman Leon McNeal said bringing “Juneteenth” back to Humboldt was his brainchild. As the idea grew and developed, he passed the torch on to Valerie Poston who has experience and the “know-how” to pull such an event together, he said.
Juneteenth is celebrated in many communities throughout the United States as a true independence day. This is because even though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed January 1, 1863, news did not travel quickly at that time. It was not until two and a half years later, on June 19, 1865, that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, announcing the end of the Civil War, thus bringing freedom to the quarter-million slaves residing in the state.
This year’s celebration in Humboldt was held at 6th Street Park and The Stigall Center. There were food vendors, vendors of African jewelry and clothing, a drum circle, line dancing and more. This event was sponsored by The City of Humboldt and the Tom & O.E. Stigall Museum.