DATE: June 19, 2022
TIME: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
PLACE: Fort Ethan Allen Parade Grounds - 11 Marcy Drive, Essex
PARKING: Street parking available along Dalton Drive. Overflow parking available on Laurette Drive.
This year's Juneteenth will recognize the Black history and the importance of emancipation in allowing Black Americans to participate in society, including the military. In 2016, the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation erected a historic marker at Fort Ethan Allen for the Buffalo Soldiers. The marker is #20 on the Vermont African American Heritage Trail which was developed by the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity. Highlighting the Buffalo Soldiers' tour duty at the Fort from 1909-1913 celebrates our new and growing diverse population in Essex and the region.
Join your neighbors for live entertainment, food, and fun! Watch for further details leading up to the day of the event. ALL are welcome!
Keynote - Rajnii Eddins
Originally from Seattle Washington, Spoken Word Poet/Emcee and Teaching Artist Rajnii Eddins has been engaging diverse community audiences for over 27 years. He was the youngest member of the African American Writers Alliance at age 11 and has been actively sharing with youth and community in Vermont since 2010.
Rajnii will be speaking and will have copies of his book available for purchase. Visit Rajnii's website at www.rajniieddins.com.
Entertainment - Toussaint St. Negritude
Toussaint is a solo performing poet/jazz artist, self-accompanying on bass clarinet, kalimba, and The Bird of Mingus (handmade Akonting/banjo-like instrument). Former Poet Laureate of Belfast, Maine, poet, bass clarinetist, and composer Toussaint St. Negritude conjures whole liberations in full tempo. US Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks described his work as "full of sweet sounds and surprises." Originally from San Francisco, Toussaint has lived broadly across the African Diaspora, from the sacred mountains of Haiti to the Coltrane District of North Philadelphia. He is the leader of the band Jaguar Stereo, a free-form ensemble of his own poetry and improvisational jazz, and his works have been widely published and recorded for over 40 years, On an alpine sanctuary facing east, Toussaint St. Negritude continues to thrive in the farthest elevations of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.
Visit Toussaint's website at www.toussaintstnegritude.com.
Enjoy honey-glazed cornbread from Harmony's Kitchen!
Harmony Edosomwan is a multifaceted Nigerian-American entrepreneur, author, activist, chef, and small business owner. Edosomwan was born and raised in Bronx, NY to two Nigerian immigrants. As a Bronx native, Edosomwan was encompassed by different foods and cultures. All of which inspires her business and love for food today. Drawing on the roots of Southern, Nigerian, and Latinx cultures,Harmony’s Kitchen aims to bring Afro Fusion Soul Food to your table. We all have the right to a meal that helps us remember why life is so good. Harmony’s Kitchen has a mission to fill your bellies and your hearts with exuberant joy.
Good food will do that to ya!
Explore the Fort Ethan Allen Museum
Learn about the the experiences of the 10th Calvary Buffalo Soldiers who arrived on July 28, 1909 bringing growth and diversity to Essex and the region. The Fort represents an important piece of Vermont and military history. Admission is FREE thanks to the Fort Ethan Allen Industrial Park and Executive Director, William L. Parkinson.
Photo courtesy: the Fort Ethan Allen Museum website
Proposition 2 to the Declaration of Rights of the Vermont Constitution
In 2019, Proposition 2 to amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont was introduced to the Vermont Senate. The proposal would amend the Vermont Constitution to eliminate reference to slavery and to serve as a foundation for addressing systemic racism in Vermont's laws and institutions. The Senate passed the bill in April of that year. In January 2020, the House of Representatives passed the proposed change to clearly state, "slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited." The ballot measure will go before voters in November 2022. To read about the proposition, visit the Vermont Legislature's website.