Sun June 16, 2024

By Jeff Smithpeters

Community Events

Third annual Juneteenth Parade ends at North Side Park with historic talk, festival atmosphere

Juneteenth North Side Park Sylvia Brown Katie Flenory
Third annual Juneteenth Parade ends at North Side Park with historic talk, festival atmosphere
The third annual Juneteenth parade rolled north from where it began at the Henry C. Yerger Museum late Saturday morning, starting at 10:30 a.m. and made its way through town up to North Side Park. 

At the park, a festival atmosphere ensued, with the playing of music, the setting up of a bouncy castle for children, the grilling of hot dogs and the placement of a shaved ice truck and a food truck.  Under one of the pavilions there, Vote SoAR organizer and NAACP Hope-Hempstead County Branch President Sylvia Brown announced that a group of volunteers were circulating petitions for the Education Rights Amendment and initiatives for abortion rights. 

She then introduced Katie Flenory. “When she first started here in 2022 or 2021, I was amazed at the amount of information that she has. And I think it's important to recognize that the skill that she brings to this is a reflection of West African tradition called the Griot and we know Griots had that mental capacity, that verbal ability, to be able to recall family histories, to be able to recall when instances happened in their tribe and in their community,” Brown said. 

Flenory then gave a talk about the changes seen in living conditions since her childhood and saluted the contributions of black citizens to the development of Hope, including such figures as Robert Hicks, owner of Hope’s first Black funeral home; Henry Yerger, founder of Yerger High School; Nathaniel Holyfield, first Black man to work at a Chevrolet dealership; Major White, first Black person to be on the Hempstead County Quorum Court and many others. In her presentation she was assisted by her husband Alvin Flenory in showing photos to illustrate her talk.