Bridgeport celebrated Juneteenth as an officially observed federal holiday at the 29th Annual Juneteenth Parade & Harambee Festival last Saturday. At Seaside Park crowds gathered to celebrate, and among those was Housatonic Community College’s CEO Dr. Dwayne Smith, who was invited to be a marshal at the event.
The Juneteenth holiday commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. The day marks June 19, 1865, when slaves were declared free in Galveston, Texas, more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. President Biden signed the Juneteenth Bill last week, making this year the first time it was observed as a federal holiday.
“Juneteenth is a celebration of African-American history, heritage, and culture. It is also a day to remember this history which is indeed America’s history and reflect on the work that still needs be accomplished in order to create a more just and equitable society.” said Smith.
In addition to a festive parade, the event featured an African inspired fashion show, children’s art, book signings, ethnic food trucks, health screenings, a farmer’s market, music by Sage & City Shout Steel Pan Orchestra and performances by New Creation Step Team. Willie McBride, Jr. served as the 2021 Grand Marshal.
“It was an honor to be a part of this historic and remarkable day. As a vital part of the greater Bridgeport community, Housatonic Community College continues to work together for creating educational opportunities for all citizens in the region,” said Smith.
About Housatonic Community College:
Serving southern Connecticut for over 50 years, Housatonic Community College (HCC) offers a student-centered, high quality and accessible education through over 70 associate degree programs to prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The college also offers occupational associate degrees and certificate programs, and the non-credit division partners with local businesses and industry to offer workforce training and customized professional development. HCC is distinguished as an Achieving the Dream Leader Institution and is ranked by the Aspen Institute among nation’s top 150 community colleges. www.Housatonic.edu
Caption For Photo Above: Housatonic Community College CEO Dr. Dwayne Smith served as a Marshal at Bridgeport’s 29th Annual Juneteenth Parade & Harambee Festival.