Reynoldsburg’s 4 th Annual Juneteenth: Voices of Freedom
Reynoldsburg, Ohio – On, Saturday, June 17, 2023, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. the City of Reynoldsburg is hosting its Fourth Annual Juneteenth Celebration: Voices of Freedom, at Huber Park, 1640 Davidson Drive. It is an admission-free event.
They are extremely excited to be partnering with the African American Male Wellness Agency which will provide health screenings as well the Columbus Museum of African-American History and Culture, which will exhibit a sampling of “The Wilson Collection.” said Meredith Lawson-Rowe, President Pro Tempore. The exhibit will include items from the enslaved period and the Civil War era. The Celebration will also include a 5K to benefit the Columbus Ice organization.
Registration details for the race may be found at www.columbusice.com.
The outside celebration will comprise vendors, food trucks, a host of sponsors, and live entertainment.
Those featured include local artist, Jaylon Fields, Thiossane West African Dance, Empower Our Youth Foundation Fashion Show including the Reynoldsburg High School Dance Team, and a talent show hosted by the African American Male Wellness Walk. The culminating performance will be our headline act, Harmonic Soul, a versatile soul band showcasing genres such as R&B, hip-hop, funk, neo-soul, gospel, and more. They bring people together through music, showmanship, and sonic blends.
At 12 noon, there will be a short program hosted by Rodney Dunigan, Assistant News Director on ABC 6 and FOX 28 News. Our featured speaker is Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce.
During the program, the committee will award the 2nd Annual George J. Stebout Juneteenth Legacy Award. Named in honor of Mr. Stebout, a Veteran, buried in the Historical Seceder Cemetery, the award recipient will be honored for his or her contributions to our community in the areas of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Mr. Stebout is included in the mural on Main Street and furthers the conversation that there were free Black people who lived and worked in Reynoldsburg before the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Stebouts were the only African American family that lived within the village boundaries of 1860. Mr. Stebout ran for Village Council in (or around) April of 1863. He obviously did not win the election, because he joined the army shortly after that.
President Pro Tempore Meredith Lawson-Rowe shared, “What I find fascinating is that he is buried in Seceder Cemetery, the oldest historical cemetery in Reynoldsburg, this is historic because, during that era of our history, it was unheard of to have Blacks and Whites buried in the same cemetery. Learning this history makes me even more proud to call Reynoldsburg home. As we continue to strive to be an inclusive community, we stand on the shoulders of those brave Seceders who settled here who regarded religious freedom and personal freedom to not be determined by one’s skin color.”
Juneteenth is an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Also referred to as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Emancipation Day. On June 19, 1865, the Union Soldiers led by Major Gen. Gordon Granger, landed in Galveston, Texas to make an announcement two and half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of Jan. 1, 1863. Essentially the soldiers proclaimed the executive orders that those who were enslaved were free.
On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the bill into law making Juneteenth a national holiday.
Reynoldsburg is a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. It sits in Franklin, Fairfield, and Licking counties. Per the 2020 census, it has a population of 41,054.