Bethlehem celebrated Juneteenth at the SteelStacks campus with food, dance, education and more

Written by on June 21, 2021

Bethlehem celebrated Juneteenth at the SteelStacks campus with food, dance, education and more

By Genesis Ortega

June 21, 2021

Juneteenth celebrations were held at the SteelStacks campus. Photo | Victoria Scialfa / WLVR

Juneteenth festivities were held across the Lehigh Valley this past weekend. The now federal holiday marks what is often considered the end of slavery in the U.S

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At the Juneteenth Lehigh Valley festival Saturday, there was spoken word, African music, food and dance. 

Easton resident and NAACP member Judith Dickerson said this was the first time she ever celebrated the holiday. 

“Like so many of us, we’re just learning about Juneteenth and it has ambivalent meaning to me in terms of celebrating versus it being very serious,” Dickerson says. 

Maurice Laster, owner of BOSSPUNK Apparel. Photo | Genesis Ortega / WLVR

Vivian Robledo, a Bethlehem resident, says there is reason to celebrate but more education is needed. 

“What I hope does not happen is that it becomes this commercialized Cinco de Mayo thing, that it truly remains at the root of the purpose of it,” Robledo says. 

Maurice Laster owns BOSSPUNK Apparel, an e-commerce business based in Coopersburg. 

“I think the event is beautiful. People from all backgrounds are here which is amazing so I’m just thankful that they’re here actually supporting the African American community,” Laster says. 

Whitehall resident Janicca Covington showcased her business, Ancient Herbal Care, which uses ingredients from Ghana to make skin care products. 

“It’s celebrating us, celebrating our people, our history. We came from making stuff in our backyard, growing products, treating our conditions the natural way. So I’m just excited to be here for that,” Covington says.  

Business owner Janicca Covington of Ancient Herbal Care. Photo | Genesis Ortega / WLVR

The event also had African American music, food and dance on the SteelStacks campus.

Organizers held panel discussions and showcased films in hopes of educating attendees on the significance of the day. 

PBS39 and WLVR 91.3 were sponsors of the Juneteenth Lehigh Valley festival this past weekend. 

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