Juneteenth Kick Off: Library opens holiday events | News

VALDOSTA – The McMullen Southside Library observed its 30-year anniversary by jump-starting Valdosta’s 30th Annual Juneteenth Celebration Monday.

Kathy James, branch manager, said it is tradition for Juneteenth to be celebrated as a whole week and not just June 19.

“We’ve been running with it for the past six years that I’ve been here. It’s all about the community coming together and getting educated about our history. This has been going on for years but I know Juneteenth has been really getting a It’s important to spread awareness, ”she said.

James added the kick-off serves as a triple celebration due to the library receiving much-needed renovations and expansions.

“We sent a proposal out for modernizing the library about two years ago, and it’s finally coming together now,” she said. “I don’t know the exact date when construction will proceed, but it should be in the next couple of months.” . I’m excited because it will expand our children’s area and teens area. ”

Valdosta Mayor Pro Tem Vivian Miller-Cody and City Council member Sandra Tooley were in attendance to extend their support for the Southside Library and Juneteenth.

Miller-Cody said Juneteenth is a day for Black people to celebrate their long-awaited freedom and a reminder of how much progress has been made.

“This event here is a great celebration to know where we came from to where we are now but the main celebration of this event is love. We should love; we should support. We should reach down and love one another. That way, we can conquer many more Juneteenth celebrations, ”she said.

“Because our forefathers fought so hard for this day, and for us not to celebrate it or not appreciate it, it would be very unbecoming. But, if we continue to uplift each other, imagine how far we can go.”

Tooley said Juneteenth’s week-long festivities are especially important for the youth, since they will be the ones to lead the next generation.

“That’s my heart, the young folks. I love them. I support anything that helps our young folks. Right now with summer coming up, I don’t want to lose any of our young ones, so I’m especially supportive of our Southside Library and programs they have going on like this. I plan on attending most of the Juneteenth events this week, ”she said.

The Southside Library Boosters will host community-wide events everyday until June 19, including:

– Tuesday, June 14: “Black Tuesday.” Organizers ask and encourage the community to visit and support Black-owned businesses in the area. “Shop, eat, and buy black,” organizers said.

– 3-8 pm Friday, June 17: “BOOK-Yard” Bar-BQ, Lowndes County Civic Center, 2116 E. Hill Ave., June 6-16. Pre-order meals online or stop by Southside Library. Meal includes half chicken, rib or pulled pork dinner with macaroni and cheese, baked beans, roll, cake. From 5-7 pm, African dancers and drummers, dramatic presentations and games will be hosted for family entertainment. No admission fee. At 7 pm, organizers will host the African Attire Fashion Show.

– Noon-8 pm Saturday, June 18: Juneteenth Festival, Lowndes County Civic Center, 2116 E. Hill Ave. Vendors will be on-site; entertainment, music and “family fun” throughout the day. Door prizes and giveaways. No admission fee.

For more information, contact the Southside Library Boosters at (229) 253-8313 or (229) 460-9019.

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