On June 18, the town of Granby will enjoy its inaugural Granby Celebrates Juneteenth event, sponsored by Granby Racial Reconciliation (GRR). The afternoon at Salmon Brook Park will include music, poetry, speakers, food vendors and activities for all ages. It will be a lot of fun and a very important day for the entire Granby community. More details will follow in future Drummer articles.
The GRR Steering Committee is seeking a visual representation for the celebration, and as such, is sponsoring a Logo Design Contest. The winning logo will be part of GRR’s advertising and outreach in preparation for and during this year’s Juneteenth event. The contest is open to all Granby students from every grade. The deadline has been extended to Feb. 7. “We can’t wait to see what Granby’s students come up with!” said committee member Cathy Watso.
The digital artwork should have a transparent background. Include the following in your email: Name, Grade, Email address and phone number. The winner will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. via an invited Zoom link.
As an example of an effective logo, the GRR logo (pictured to the right) is an impactful reflection of this organization.
It was designed by John Stevenson, a member of South Church and a retired graphic artist who worked for many years in the corporate world. Note that the two Rs are facing each other—their “toes” touching—which serves as a visual representation of the relationships that GRR is building. GRR member Ken Mouning chose the Granby colors maroon and gold, with the black R in the middle. The facing Rs represent connecting and reconciling community members. GRR is grateful for the volunteers who brought this logo together—a simple, recognizable, meaningful design.Students are encouraged to do their research on what Juneteenth is all about (see below for a start) and to submit their unique and impactful logo design by Feb. 7 to info@GranbyRacialReconciliation.com Send an email with any questions.
The word Juneteenth is a melding of the words “June” and “nineteenth,” the date on which, in 1865, a community of enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas finally learned that they were free from the institution of slavery. This was over two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, but as the Civil War drew to a close, a large number of people remained enslaved, particularly in rural communities that had not received the news. Juneteenth celebrates the day that the Proclamation reached the most remote parts of the former Confederacy.
Juneteenth—also known as Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day—has been observed ever since, with celebrations ranging from parades, cookouts, musical performances, public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the singing of spirituals.
Juneteenth’s popularity has ebbed and flowed over the years, depending upon the historical context. For example, during the Civil Right Era of the 1960s and ’70s, there was less celebration and more struggle.
There has been a renewed enthusiasm for the celebration of Juneteenth in recent years. Towns and cities all over the country acknowledge the day in their own ways, and around a dozen states have made it an official state holiday (Connecticut did so last June). On June 17, 2021—155 years since the first formal celebration of Juneteenth in 1866—the celebration achieved the status of an official federal holiday.
Importantly, Juneteenth is not a holiday just for the African American community. While it is most definitely a celebration of African American culture and history and the end of chattel slavery, it is a holiday for all Americans. Juneteenth both celebrates racial progress in America and simultaneously highlights our country’s painful legacy and the need for continued awareness, education, and progress.
Granby’s Celebrates Juneteenth event is a natural extension of the work of Granby Racial Reconciliation, which started with a group of clergy and community leaders focusing on racial reconciliation in Granby, following several incidents of racial injustice, including the May 25, 2020 murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. GRR is committed to the ongoing work of racial reconciliation in and around Granby. GRR’s purpose is to raise awareness and continue the conversation on racial justice in our community, so that Granby can be a great place for everyone.
Since the summer of 2020, GRR has sponsored several events intended to encourage conversation and connection, including a vigil on the town green; a “courageous conversations” series; a drive-in movie viewing in Salmon Brook Park (followed by a discussion); a racial equity challenge in collaboration with Food Solutions New England and Nourish My Soul; and a Zoom call to Ask the Candidates Your Questions about Race. Juneteenth is a continuation of the hard work that GRR has been doing, and a way to include the community in celebrating what GRR has accomplished in our community thus far.
Visit GranbyRacialReconciliation.com for more information.