About 100 people attended and participated in Santa Fe’s Juneteenth event, remembering Black ancestry and celebrating freedom.
The SFC Association of Black Faculty and Staff hosted the June 15 event at Blount Hall.
The eight-hour event hosted arts and crafts, an educational historical tour, youth activities, vendors, information about SFC programs and live entertainment.
Destiny Henderson, a 25-year-old SFC alum, considers art her first love. She vended at the event, selling her paintings and her book, “Yolk’s on Me”.
Henderson became serious about art when she was 10 years old. Her art teacher showed her what painting was, which opened the doors for her to express herself in all ways, she said.
“The art that I love to make the most is with women, Black women specifically,” she said. “[In] most of my paintings, people are smiling. I want to give people something happy, feel good to go home with.”
Henderson believes Juneteenth is a great celebration for everyone and hopes people will ask themselves what it means to be free and how we get to be free now, she said.
“[Juneteenth shows] the resilience of our ancestors, what they had to endure in this country,” she said. “[So be] grateful for the things that we've fought for, not given. [Let’s] rejoice in our freedoms and love to do things just to be free.”
Trenita White, the vice president of SFC ABFS, has coordinated the event with a team since April.
White participated in the event’s Gospel Extravaganza, which began at 6 p.m. The extravaganza featured a combined choir of SFC students, faculty and staff, as well as performances by community members.
1000 Voices of Florida, a diverse faith-based community, performed at the event.
Audience members and performers sang, cried and prayed. The extravaganza gave people the opportunity to do their cultural dances, spread the gospel and share their family members’ experiences during slavery.
Naima Brown, SFC Vice President of Student Affairs, has taught at the college since 2000. Brown likes researching her family history.
This is an event where we reflect and remember what happened and the power of knowledge, spreading the word and keeping it going, Brown said.
“We remember all of the people who suffered even after the laws had changed,” Brown said. “And we remember the people who sacrificed their lives to ensure that those in Texas knew when they had been denied their freedom.”
Contact Vivienne at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @vivienneserret.
Vivienne Serret is a UF journalism and criminology senior, reporting for The Alligator's university desk as the student government reporter and managing editor for The Florida Political Review. She loves debating, lifting at the gym and singing.