WORD ON THE STREET: What does Juneteenth mean to you?

Though it has been celebrated for years in the Black community, this year Juneteenth became an official federal holiday. The MSR was out and about on Juneteenth and stopped by various gatherings to ask community members: What does Juneteenth mean to you?

Photo by Nikki Love Reg Chapman

As a Black man, it’s my Independence Day. It’s a time for me to stop and reflect on what happens on Juneteenth. How the last of us to be known end up being the greatest generation to carry us to the point to where we are today.

It makes me think about the struggle, the journey, and how far we have left to go. I hope during this Juneteenth season we celebrate each other, our strengths, and our abilities because when we are together, nothing can stop us!

Reg Chapman

Photo by Nikki Love Rolanda

Juneteenth is a time to celebrate with family. It’s a time when Black people can get together and enjoy themselves.


Photo by Nikki Love Broderick

Juneteenth means freedom for Black Americans and we should be more knowledgeable about this holiday and embrace the fact that we gained freedom this day, not July the 4th.

July 4th really has nothing to do with us. I think Juneteenth should be celebrated and embodied more seriously. I think it’s a good learning tool; I do a lot of programs with the freedom schools promoting Black awareness, literacy to young Black Americans. We need to embody who we are as Black people and love ourselves more and identify and resonate more with that.


Photo by Nikki Love Tichelle

Juneteenth is a time to get together as a people and culture to be as one. We don’t have many opportunities for us to be us. Juneteenth is that holiday and that special time for us to do that and come together as a culture. We have to have each other’s back and be here for one another. The goofy young things that are going on in the cities right now are not what is up. We need mentors, people leading by example, and us doing it for each other and ourselves.


Photo by Nikki Love Michael

Honestly, Juneteenth is traumatic for me. One of my best friends died that day. I don’t attend it anymore. I know what it represents, the liberation of Black people. My homie died that day, so each year that’s all I think about. Stay safe this Juneteenth cause there is nothing worth losing your life for.