The Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society on Saturday held their 34th annual Juneteenth celebration at Idlewild Park in Reno. The event included church services, live music, raffles and cultural awareness information and resources from organizations including Black Wall Street, Nevada Museum of Art and Progressive Leadership Alliance.
The event kicked off at 3 p.m. with the National Anthem and featured speaker Dr. Angela Taylor.
“Juneteenth is something that everyone can celebrate,” Taylor said. “There’s such a diverse group of people out here celebrating and that’s really what it should be all about. We have commonalities that we can celebrate together. Slavery was a horrific part of the history of our country, but coming together after it ended and celebrating that – that’s an amazing part of our history.”
Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society, in addition to hosting the annual Juneteenth celebration, also works in the community to promote an “the understanding of [the Black community’s] traditions and history while empowering the Black community.”
Juneteenth is the commemoration of the freeing of slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865. It took more than two-and-a-half years from the time Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation for Union troops in the Civil War to arrive in Texas to enforce the decree. The last reading took place in Galveston, Texas, which is where the Juneteenth celebration originated.
President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth a federal holiday in 2021.
Born in 1971, Eric Marks was fortunate enough to grow up in a time and family where photography and literature were normal parts of his life. His parents were always enthusiastic and supportive of his photography as a child, and encouraged him to read and write as much as possible. From 2005 to 2012 he owned an award-winning, international, high definition video production company, and has produced video and photography in over 14 different countries on four continents. Eric majored at the University of Nevada, Reno in English/Writing and Art, graduating with English and Photography degrees in 2013, and again with an Art degree in 2018. He teaches all genres of photography at Truckee Meadows Community College, is a freelance photojournalist for several publications, and offers private photography instruction.