Juneteenth-inspired, Black-focused community events June 17-20, all of them free, will celebrate Freedom Week in Culpeper with outreach, food, fun, education and the arts.
Community organizers Brianna Reaves, a rising senior at University of Mary Washington, and business owner Brandon Miles are collaborating on the 2nd Annual celebration “to take the necessary time” to remember African-American ancestors who were the last to be freed June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas.
The town and county of Culpeper last year made Juneteenth an official holiday.
This year, the acknowledgement will span four days – on purpose, Reaves said.
“Celebrating Juneteenth for one day just didn’t feel like enough. By making it Freedom Week, it further personalizes June 19, 1865,” she said in a message to the Star-Exponent. “I think about what the week prior to the 19th must’ve been like for them, and how the celebration of freedom didn’t just last a day—it probably lasted days if not weeks on end.”
Hosting a week of events in Culpeper recognizes that freedom isn’t enough for a day, Reaves added.
“Freedom should last for weeks, months, years, and from one generation’s life to the next. So this year, we go from a day to a week, with hopes that we will celebrate freedom for the rest of Black people’s lives,” she said.