All ages celebrate Juneteenth through Freedom Walk
A Springfield organization, United Community Change hosted Juneteenth Freedom Walk. Organizers wanted the walk to be more than just a group of people standing up for what they believe in. They took those in attendance around the north side of Springfield to prominent locations in the community with a message behind each stop.
It all started at Springfield City Hall where organizer Jamille Jones spoke on the history of Juneteenth.
Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been ensalved in the United States.
The group made their way to the Judicial Courthouse, Commercial Street and then ended at Washington Park.
At each stop Jones shared a message about each place for example on Commercial Street she talked about the black businesses owners and the importance of having their representation in our community.
"Every stop that we took that was a way for the individual to imagine and put themselves into the body of the enslaved African American who had to take that walk and had to make many stops to settle and be free," said Juneteenth Freedom Walk organizer, Jamille Jones.
Steven and Amanda Place have three biracial children and said exposing their children to marches like this teaches them more than some history books.
"We want to take part in that celebration in that culture and history and why it's important," said Steven Place. "I don't think they learn about this in school that why we're taking the next step to teaching them this ourselves."
"To represent that black lives matter. It is a change and I would like to make the change and not keep it the way it is," said Seselie Plant.
Same with Kelly Dudley.
"I didn't find out about it until five or seven years ago. I think my kids this summer is I shared it with them. It's how we white wash our history because we don't get to this section of history. We don't talk about these things. Understanding that this apart of American history," said Kelly Dudley.
Whitney Crinklaw grew up in a biracial household and said she's struggled finding her place.
"We're marching to celebrate freedom but you look at the world we're in right now and it feels like that freedom doesn't exist. It's like your marching to keep that freedom alive," said Whitney Crinklaw.
Crinklaw said she's touched by those marching alongside her including her friends and hopes more people join the Black Lives Matter movement.
"It makes me teary eye to love someone like that despite their skin color that's the kind of change we need," said Crinklaw.
When they made it to their last stop at Washington Park there was music, food, a basketball tournament along with voter registration booths.