By David Okonkwo
RIALTO—The diocesan Office of Catholics of African Descent is sponsoring a Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 16 at Blessed John XXIII Parish’s Rialto site. Juneteenth is the celebration of the official pronouncement of the end of slavery in 1865. It marks the day General Gordon Granger read the “Emancipation Proclamation” to the slaves in Texas, as they were the last to hear the news of their freedom.
We can all agree that slavery is a true atrocity, be it the enslavement of the Jews by the Egyptians or the decamping of stolen Africans from their native homes to western continents.
Juneteenth is celebrated as the Black Independence Day in all areas/states where black people are populous. They come together to remember, tell their stories, pass on tradition to the younger generations and put on the light of hope, filling each other with a future fueled in hope.
It will be a wonderful day filled with fun. A jazz band will provide musical entertainment while children play in the grass and adults relax under the shade of the old trees that seem to have been in that ground probably longer than the church building itself.
So come out and join Catholics of African descent in this celebration. Blessed John XXIII’s Rialto site is at 222 E Easton Street, Rialto, CA 92376. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
David Okonkwo is the director of the Ministry of the Assembly of Catholics of African Descent for the Diocese of San Bernardino.