Lansing Juneteenth celebrations are ‘extra special this year

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Hundreds of people celebrated Juneteenth in Lansing, and now that it’s a federal holiday people, people say they have more to celebrate.

The city of Lansing hosted their 28th annual Juneteenth celebration.

“With that celebration of freedom, there’s freedom expression is very very many ways. And so these are some of the freedom expressions that we are doing today, the celebration of people, the reunion of people. Again we are just happy to celebrate,” said Marilyn Rogers, co-chair for the Lansing Juneteenth committee.

Reo Town also hosted their first Juneteenth celebration.

“This is a celebration of myself of my beauty and I want to share that with everybody else,” said Karrington Kelsey, Volunteer coordinator and host for Reo Town’s Juneteenth celebration.

On Thursday President Joe Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday. Today, people say it’s a step in the right direction but more needs to be done.

“It’s an opportunity to recognize our past, present, and our future. We start to see it is a racial reckoning in this country and this is one of the first steps to that racial reckoning. Honoring the past and projecting a better future for ourselves is great,” said Darrell King, a Reo Town celebration attendee.

Both events had games, Black-owned vendors, live performances, food and more. Jarnell Perkans lives in Reo Town and he’s happy the celebration is closer to home.

“Seeing this is amazing, step out right into my backyard, I love it,” he said.

Michael Nathan says he really enjoyed his time at today’s event.

“I would love for this to continue to get bigger and better every single year,” he said.

After a year of being stuck in the house, many people are ready be out and have a good time on this special day.

“Just excited to be out here, came down to see a lot of friends, see some people that you haven’t seen in a while. We just all look forward to coming down,” said Mike Ingram, a Reo Town celebration attendee.

For Kelsey, he hopes everyone gains a better understanding of African-American culture.

“I want people to feel love, I want people to feel educated, I want them to walk away from this place understanding the black diaspora. That we are multicultural, that we are genetically diverse and culturally diverse and that we are here to celebrate ourselves at our best,” said Kelsey.

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