Juneteenth Jubilee held in Canton, Missouri

Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 8:52 PM CDT
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CANTON, Mo. (WGEM) - Community members of Canton, Missouri, and surrounding areas came together Saturday for a Juneteenth Jubilee outside the old Lincoln Colored School at Martin Park.

Dozens attended the event, which featured several vendors, food, music, children’s games, pony rides and more.

In addition to the fun, the event served as an educational opportunity as well.

Informational books and displays were set up inside the schoolhouse that talked about the history and importance of Juneteenth and civil rights within the area.

Tours were given to point out sites of African American schools around Canton, and local storyteller W. T. Johnson gave a speech from the point of view of historian Carter G. Woodson, who was among the first historians to analyze the history of African American life.

Among the more prominent themes of the story was Woodson’s emphasis on the point that actions speak louder than words, and it is never too late to learn.

Jubilee organizer and Lincoln School Director Phyllis Dean said events such as Saturday’s celebration are important, especially so younger generations know and understand their history.

“If we don’t stop and tell them about the past, then the past will disappear. And they need to understand how it is that they get to do the things and enjoy the freedoms that they enjoy today,” said Dean.

This year’s jubilee was the second celebration of Juneteenth in Canton, and Dean said she was excited to welcome everyone back.

“I enjoy it because I get to run across people whose parents went to school here, their grandparents and some of the other students that are still alive, some of them come back too,” said Dean.

While much of the day was spent focusing on teaching the youth, Dean said the jubilee was also a chance to share joy with those who returned to Canton.

“It makes them proud when they come back and can see something of their parents or grandparents still standing and their legacy being shared with the children of today,” said Dean.

She said they plan on holding the jubilee again next year.

Organizers say the celebration also helped remind some that there are several sites around...
Organizers say the celebration also helped remind some that there are several sites around Canton that are important beacons of history.(WGEM)

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