Chicago Juneteenth events include Roseland celebration focusing on youth

What is Juneteenth? Holiday marks day in 1865 when slaves in Texas finally learned they were free

Evelyn Holmes Image
Friday, June 16, 2023
South Side Juneteenth events focus on youth
There are many ways to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday this weekend, including one event in Chicago's South Side Roseland neighborhood.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago will be celebrating Juneteenth in a big way over the coming days.

A unique event Friday had the potential to change the lives of young people.

South Sider Tramya Battes and her friends showed off their moves as the 17 year old celebrated Juneteenth.

"Juneteenth means we're just celebrating Black America, Independence Day; this is our Independence Day," Battes said.

All the fun is a part of the Community Juneteenth Freedom Celebration Event, hosted by the not for profit Angel of God Resource Center, located at 108th and Halsted streets in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood.

The goal is unity.

"Peace, love, that's bringing everybody together," South Sider Amaya Neeley said.

SEE ALSO: ABC7 Chicago celebrates Juneteenth with half-hour special, 'Our Chicago: Freedom Music'

The not for profit works with dozens of churches and community groups to provide support as well as educational and employment pathways to the trades, technology and other careers.

They currently have over 400 young people enrolled in their program.

"We believe in praying for the police department, our youth, our community, bringing the West Side, the South Side, the East Side together," said Annie Smith, Angel of God Resources Center executive director.

The grill was sizzling at the first ever event where there were games and entertainment along with several local Black-owned businesses.

There will be three days of festivities marking Juneteenth, which is short for June 19, now a federal, state, county and city holiday.

Also known as Jubilee Day and Liberation Day, it's the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas finally learned they were free.

The celebration will continue throughout the weekend and conclude on Juneteenth with a youth appreciation program and a food giveaway.