Columbia planning committee prepares for Juneteenth

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COLUMBIA- Adonica Coleman is one of the creators behind the event "Como Celebrates Juneteeth" which takes place this Friday.

Juneteenth is the combination of the words June and the nineteenth. This is known as the celebration of the last enslaved people in the United States being set free on June 19,1865.

Coleman says this is the second year she and the other creators have put together the event and this time it feels different.

"This year because of the climate of everything right now and the way the last three weeks or so have been going the response for this has really been overwhelming," Coleman said.

The event will have an in person ceremony at Karis Church at 11 am where those who placed an order can get their food, greetings from the planning committee and a member of the local NAACP chapter, and coloring pages for children made by local artist Candice Nicole. The mayor will also speak and kick off the online portion of the event that Coleman says is full of education and fun.

"Every time I get an registration email from a name I am not familiar with, I feel like that's another person who will learn something that maybe they didn't know," Coleman said. 

Educating is the main goal Coleman has for this event because she did not know of Juneteenth until her adult years.

"I think its important for our children to know about Juneteenth so we want to start getting that information to the younger generation much earlier," Coleman said.

Three local black owned Columbia businesses will be catering for the in person portion of this event. Another goal Coleman had in mind was showcasing what foods black families usually cook. One of the businesses catering is called 4 point catering. This black owned business has been in Columbia for 4 years.

Co-owner Josiah Williams said he is looking forward to what Juneteenth has to offer.

"Just meeting people I’ve never met before, celebrating our freedom, and just being around good people and good food," Williams said.

The planning committee hopes this Juneteenth event becomes a tradition in Columbia that grows larger each year.