Middlesex County to honor 156th anniversary of Juneteenth
MIDDLESEX COUNTY - As part of New Jersey’s first official commemoration of Juneteenth, Middlesex County will mark the holiday with county-wide celebrations.
The festivities will kick off with a mural painting event in New Brunswick and conclude with multiple flag raisings across the county.
The events are hosted with the Metuchen-Edison Area, New Brunswick Area, and Perth Amboy Area Branches of the NAACP, in partnership with the Arts Institute of Middlesex County and the New Brunswick Cultural Center, Inc.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger rode to Galveston, Texas, and informed enslaved people of their freedom as stated by the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.
Last year Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation declaring Juneteenth a state and public holiday.
“Middlesex County is proud to be part of New Jersey’s first official celebration of Juneteenth,” Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios said. "In close partnership with NAACP branches throughout the County, the Arts Institute of Middlesex County and the New Brunswick Cultural Center, Inc. have organized a slate of events that celebrate Juneteenth while educating the public about this important day in our nation’s history. Commemorating Juneteenth, the day on which the last enslaved people in America learned of their freedom, honors our fellow Americans who suffered the atrocities of slavery.”
“As New Jersey recognizes Juneteenth as an official State holiday for the first time, we in Middlesex County are proud of the way our arts community is coming together to honor this important event in our nation’s history,” said Middlesex County Commissioner Chanelle Scott McCullum. “In addition to offering a mixture of cultural and educational events, the Juneteenth celebrations are a combination of in-person and virtual events to ensure they are accessible to all.”
Middlesex County’s Juneteenth festivities will begin with the closing of one of New Brunswick’s busiest intersections for a mural painting event on Wednesday and Thursday. Artist Luis-Miguel Caraballo (also known as Louie Blaka) will lead the mural painting at the intersection of George Street, Liberty Street and Livingston Avenue.
The celebration will continue with a combination of live and virtual events in New Brunswick and throughout the county, including music and dance performances and speeches.
The Juneteenth events include:
- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Central Jersey Chapters of NAACP (Greater New Brunswick, Metuchen Edison, and Perth Amboy branches) and the Arts Institute of Middlesex County mural painting at the intersection of George and Liberty streets and Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick.
- 7 p.m. Wednesday, “Juneteenth: A Reflection on Social Justice and Emancipation” at East Brunswick Public Library, 2 Jean Walling, Civic Center Drive, East Brunswick. For additional information visit bit.ly/3xhQvjK.
- 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, New Brunswick Area NAACP in-person program in Monument Square Park, 2 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick. Event will include live performances, speeches, and nonprofit organizations focusing on vaccination information and public health.
- 11:30 a.m. Saturday, NAACP Metuchen Edison Area Branch Juneteenth virtual/hybrid celebration including music and dance performances and speeches. To register, click here
- 3 p.m. Saturday, Juneteenth Flag Raising at City Hall Circle in Perth Amboy. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3pUVHI2.
For additional information regarding Middlesex County’s Juneteenth celebrations visit http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/Government/Departments/BDE/Pages/Juneteenth.aspx.
Susan Loyer covers Middlesex County and more for MyCentralJersey.com. To get unlimited access to her work, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.