Brookings hosts second annual Juneteenth Celebration

Brookings Juneteenth celebration
Brookings Juneteenth celebration(Dakota News Now)
Updated: Jun. 19, 2021 at 8:36 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Celebrations for the newest national holiday, Juneteenth, could be found across South Dakota Saturday. In Brookings, their Human Rights Commission helped put on a celebration, with a panel to discuss the importance of Juneteenth.

This was the second annual Juneteenth celebration in Brookings after last year a small panel was made to discuss the importance of Juneteenth, following the death of George Floyd.

“This is the second year and it’s grown from just a panel to now a panel and a little bit more celebration. We have food trucks, we have vendors, really just supporting and recognizing that diversity is a good thing,” said Stephanie Aure, one of the event organizers and a volunteer.

For organizers of the event, it was important to not only celebrate but inform members of the community of the struggles that are still facing people of color in the country.

“My forefathers, specifically my family members have done a lot of different things in this country, some of them taught, some of them are doctors, some of them are lawyers, some of them fought and they were activists,” said Aure. “My father fought and marched at Washington, and so for me, I have to honor Juneteenth because that’s what he did.”

To further the celebration, Simon Nguru had the opening of his business, 254 Gift Shop, which he says will be the only shop in South Dakota dedicated to selling African items.

“I decided to open my shop today because it is a big day for people of color. I knew the community was going to show up and people are going to appreciate what we are introducing here in Brookings and in South Dakota,” said Nguru.

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