Juneteenth

Phyllis “Tee” Adams, middle, never knew anything about the history of June- teenth. The idea for the event celebrating the end of slavery came to her in an un- usual dream. A two-day event she brought to life with a committee runs from June 18-19, 2021 in locations around Annapolis, Md., to mark Annnapolis’ first June- teenth festival. Photo Courtesy of Phyllis “Tee” Adams

Annnapolis’ first Juneteenth festival will include a two-day celebration, which will kick off on June 18, 2021 with a VIP Reception and Awards Ceremony at 6 .p.m. at Maryland Cultural & Conference Center (MC3). The venue is located at 3 Park Place, Suite #4 in Annapolis, Maryland. The elegant evening commemorates the inaugural Juneteenth celebration.

It is scheduled to feature live entertainment including Art Sherrod; catered food; community awards presented to local and national trailblazers who are ages 13-80; networking; and African American art. The event honoring the rich history of enslaved Africans— and commemoration of America’s end of slavery— shall resume with a parade at noon on Saturday, June 19, 2021.

In light of what Juneteenth represents, it is appropriate that the Kunta Kinte statue downtown at the City Dock in Annapolis will mark the starting point of the second chapter of The Sailing Capital’s historical event.

According to an organizer, over 60 groups and civic organizations featured in the parade are set to take a spirited journey which ends at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, located at 801 Chase St. Later in the day, outdoor mainstage entertainment, and the Juneteenth Musical Festival, will span from 2: 00 – 9:00 p.m. at Bates Athletic Complex.

This portion of the event is scheduled to occur at 935 Spa Rd. Talent such as Tyler Perry’s ‘Young Dylan,’ violinist Chelsey Green Project, and Kindred The Family Soul will perform and/or appear, before the close of the event.

The festivities end with fireworks, after the stage closes. All of Saturday’s festivities are free to the public, while ensuring that a healthy and safe environment is achieved.

The action-packed day targets attendees from ages four to 80. The colossal celebration was conceived by a well-known, native Annapolitan who grew up in the Parole area. Phyllis “Tee” Adams, who is 69 years young, stated that she never knew anything about the history of Juneteenth. The idea for the event came to her in an unusual dream. Then, she learned all that she could about it. Adams took a big leap of faith to educate others around her.

“I saw a field with a huge festival. Three days later I heard Juneteenth. I prayed and then we started planning the festival in the middle of the pandemic over a year ago,” Adams said. Adams further explained that she did not want anyone in Annapolis—and her future generations— to miss out on knowing the legacy about why we celebrate June 19. The Annapolis event’s theme is “Honoring Our Past and Celebrating Our Future.” This premise ties into what Juneteenth is truly all about.

According to www.juneteenth.com, the commemoration of African American freedom may be accompanied by a wide array of celebratory gatherings. The website reminds that on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas informing people that enslaved people were now free and the Civil War had ended.

This occurred two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had already abolished slavery. And now, one elder in Annapolis is responsible for starting a new tradition in the same area where enslaved Africans such as Kunta Kinte arrived in bondage.

Adams also said that exploring the stories and struggles of our ancestors, and what they endured through hardships taught her many things. Perseverance, having a mustard seed of faith, doing all things with the help of Christ’s strength, are among other points she noted and relearned.

Adams has a track record of being a visionary who starts good ideas from scratch. She ended up partnering with the City of Annapolis, The Westin Hotel, MC3 and Anne Arundel County to get everything off the ground with her signature “Ms. Tee style.” Anne Arundel County Executive, Steuart Pittman, even made Juneteenth a county paid holiday, according to Adams.

Verneé J. Wallace, who is the treasurer for the Annapolis Juneteenth Planning Board, said that she chose to get involved in the Annapolis Juneteenth Celebration, because participating in a positive milestone was desirable.

“I knew I would be a part of a positive event that will educate and highlight one of the most under-talked about events in African American history,” Wallace said. “What has been most rewarding to me is being able to highlight my hometown of Annapolis, Maryland. Slaves were sold at our docks, and now we are marching from that same dock right into a celebration of true freedom.”

Please visit www.annapolisjuneteenth.org to confirm event details and times. Tickets for Friday’s night’s affair can be purchased from the website. The cost is $100.00. After five attire is required.