Tupelo residents celebrate Juneteenth with brunch

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Juneteenth is a legacy filled with passion, pain, and pride. Some children are unaware of the history of African Americans, which is why the Juneteenth brunch organizer Jennifer Lawrence said events like this, are much needed.

“We want the younger generation to know what Juneteenth really means. I did not know what it meant until I was in my 30s, so now we want children that are 7-10 years old to know what Juneteenth really means about the history of enslaved people in America,” said Lawrence.

Bridget Shelly also helped put together the brunch. She said it is important to make sure the past history of slaves in America should not be erased.

“A lot of people do not want to talk about slavery, but it did actually happen, and a lot of people do not want to talk about racism but it still exists today. So, what we do, is trying to keep racial harmony in peace so everyone can get along because we are not going anywhere, we are black and proud, and we have our culture, and we like who we are,” said Shelly.

Dr. Charles Ross is an African American studies professor at Ole Miss, and he was the guest speaker. He says while most people know about the racism that happened in professional baseball, many are unaware of what professional football players had to go through in the early 1900s

“The NFL was in essence segregated from 1933 to 1946, then it was reintegrated. it took from 1946 to 1962 for every team to have at least one identifiable African American player,” said Ross.

He says you have also seen a shift in the game at the most important position….. Quarterback.

“Opportunities have been extended on the field in particular at the quarterback position, where you have a number of African Americans like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson Deshaun Watson, and others that are making a lot of money to play a position where in the past, they did not extend those same kinds of opportunities,” said Riss.

CeeCee Jackson attended the Juneteenth brunch. She said helping share the history of African Americans was a draw for her

“I wanted to be a part of our history celebration, our committee worked hard on putting this event together. Our ancestors fought hard for this, and this makes me want to come out and express gratitude for what they did for us in our country,” said Jackson.

The Juneteenth Brunch organizer Jennifer Lawrence said the city has been doing the event each year since 2014.

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