JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Many ministers and faith-leaders all joined under one roof at New Life Empowerment Ministries Friday for a Faith and Freedom Virtual Worship Service to commemorate Juneteenth.
KLEK 102.5 hosted its third annual Juneteenth in Jonesboro with the theme: “The Chains are Broken: We Will Never Be Bound Again.”
Founder and General Manager of KLEK, LaGanzie Kale, says June 19th, 1865 is just as much as a celebration as July 4th, 1776.
“It’s more important than ever that we have something in which can celebrate our successes, celebrate our feelings, celebrate our freedom and celebrate our culture. I think it’s a good way to lift our spirits and to give us something to celebrate and be proud of,” Kale said.
Those watching via Facebook Live viewed music selections like “Lift Every Voice and Sing” popularly recognized as the black national anthem.
Those faith-leaders also all expressed the importance of Juneteenth and the true meaning of what it means to be free.
“On one hand I’m happy that my ancestors gave their lives so that I might stand here before you today unchained and unbound but on the other hand, I can’t help but embrace the sorrow that comes by acknowledging all of the pain and suffering we as people had to go through and still today go through,” Jervonne Newsome said.
While Newsome touched on “freedom over grief”, the other minsters and faith-leaders talked about the importance of freedom in knowledge and wisdom, freedom in activism, grief and anger and freedom in submission and finances.
Kale says this day shows they have been resilient through tragic times.
“We have endured slavery, we’ve endured Jim Crow, sharecropping, the civil rights movement, police brutality, we’ve endured so many tragedies and injustices. But, it’s bents us but it hasn’t broken us as a people so that’s something to be proud of, that we have preserved no matter what has been thrown at us as a people,” Kale said.
While Friday was the first day of commemorating Juneteenth in Jonesboro, on Saturday events continued with a community clean-up and fellowship along the KLEK 1 mile adopted highway on Church Street.
Also on hand were tables to join the NAACP and to register to vote.
“This event celebrates more than just freedom of slavery. It celebrates the resilience of our people and hopefully it empowers the future generations to continue on with their service,” event organizer Qubilah Jones said.
Jones also added that she was appreciative of those that came out to serve the community.
If you would like to learn more about Juneteenth and its impact across the nation. click here.