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Juneteenth ceremony held at Van Cortlandt House Museum

Performances included African drums and a spoken words poem.

Heather Fordham

Jun 19, 2024, 10:24 PM

Updated 30 days ago


The fourth annual Juneteenth ceremony was held at the Van Cortlandt House Musuem on Wednesday.
The ceremony honored the memory of enslaved people buried in the Bronx, as well as the influence they had on the landscape and what makes the park what it is today.
The Van Cortlandt Park Alliance and Bronx Arts Ensemble organize the event each year. It has become a yearly tradition since 2021, when Juneteenth was recognized as a national holiday.
"This is like another Independence Day and that's why we really feel we hope everyone can celebrate with us, because what it is an opportunity to come in community and really reflect on our fortune that we have freedom," said Ashley Adams, with the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance.
Performances included African drums and a spoken words poem. A libation or ritual ceremony followed to honor the memory of those buried in the Enslaved African Burial Ground.
"Juneteenth is so important especially playing the drums, drumming was the first telephone for us to speak with our people so it's a good way to celebrate Juneteenth by striking the drum," said Yahaya Kamate, a musician and dancer.

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