City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Celebrating Juneteenth the South Dayton Way

Springboro plans celebration of history

On June 19, 2021 the community of Springboro, Ohio will hold its First Annual Juneteenth Jubilee, a family-friendly event across three venues  to celebrate “our shared history, freedom, and continued commitment to equity and inclusion for all.”  Historically, Juneteenth commemorates January 1, 1863, the day when the last slaves in Galveston, Texas, found out they were free. This came two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had abolished slavery. On that day, Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army declared “an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves.” Therefore, Juneteenth is the holiday that celebrates the date in our history when we all became free.

Commemoration of Juneteenth soon became an annual event, marked by prayer services and a traditional barbeque dinner; however, celebration waned during periods such as the Great Depression, and the story of the emancipation of these last slaves was often omitted from history lessons in the 20th century. In recent years Juneteenth has seen a resurgence, with communities becoming aware of this important historical event and celebrating it.

Springboro is one such community that has prioritized celebrating Juneteenth, in part due to its rich history in the abolitionist movement.  There are 27 documented Underground Railroad safe houses in Springboro, with an estimated 4000 slaves who were harbored, primarily by the Quaker community, while on their path to freedom. 

The Springboro Juneteenth Jubilee event will include three separate venues. First, at the North Park Amphitheater, celebrants will enjoy live music and performances, food trucks, and local vendors. Second, visitors can take self-guided tours of five Underground Railroad stops in the area, courtesy of the Springboro Area Historical Society and Museum. Third, at the Coffman YMCA of Greater Dayton, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament will be held for players ranging from under 12 to over 40.

There will be three great venues with one important reason to celebrate. What better reason to explore a local summer celebration?