DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The weekend was filled with family, food, laughter and more as many came to the Bull City to take part in its 17th annual Juneteenth Jubilee.
“It doesn’t matter about your economic background. It doesn’t matter about your education level. Everybody can come together,” Phyllis Coley said.
Coley is the Juneteenth director for the city of Durham and publisher of Spectacular Magazine. She calls the collaboration between Hayti and Bragtown Neighborhood Association an experience Durham has never seen before.
She said it was introducing a new three-day weekend full of fun and a sense of history.
The events offered a unique history lesson and contributions to an unfolding story of Black communities in the city.
“This is really about us. This is a day we celebrate the ending of slavery. This is a day we celebrate our freedom,” Coley said.
Angel-Iset Dozier is a promoter who works with the Hayti community and said the city of Durham is growing, and with that growth, minorities need to take advantage of the changes and get involved.
“The city of Durham has such rich history with regard to Black progress, Black excellence and it was really important for us to say ‘you know what — we’re disconnected’,” Dozier said.
Other event organizers described what Juneteenth means to them and why families should take part.
“We see Juneteenth as an opportunity to connect. I mean every year it’s like a family reunion. We get to see each other again and remember why we’re doing what we are doing,” Taylor-Mary Webber-Fields said.
The event captured the attention of many new people attending the Jubilee as first timers — like Keke Oliver.
“I want them to learn cultural experience and diversity; to be around everybody and see everybody as one,” Oliver said.
Organizers said their mission is to expand avenues for public engagement and participation of Black communities in the ongoing development of Durham.
CBS17 is a proud sponsor of this event. Saturday was only the second day of the Juneteenth weekend. Organizers will host a Father’s Day celebration and BBQ Cookout at the Golden Belt campus on Sunday at 2 p.m.