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A rewarding day
YMU's Juneteenth celebration brings people together
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The hosts of the Juneteenth celebration were Young Men United, who have organized this event for over 20 years. Pictured are members present during Saturday’s celebration, front row, from left, Howard Henny, Alicia Strode, Ella Richmond, Donald Crisp and Charlie Boyd. Second row, YMU founder Nelson Ramsey and Henrietta Lusk. Back row, Barry Johnson and William “Tagg” Martin. - photo by Nikki Childers

Young Men United works tirelessly through the year to get the Juneteenth celebration together, and on Saturday the organization succeeded yet again.

“We had a really good turnout today,” said YMU founder Nelson Ramsey. “This is what the day is about, people coming together and celebrating and fellowshipping from all walks of life.”

The event at the Bernard School location drew crowds who enjoyed all types of food as well as entertainment in the form of lip syncing performances, great music and even a play from Warren Arts called “Walk, Don’t Ride! A Celebration of the Fight for Equality” that highlighted social issues Black Americans face and the influential figures that have led the cause.

 “The most rewarding part of all of this is that, after all the hard work to put it together, we get to see everybody come together and have a good time,” explained Ramsey. “All colors are coming together as one. Everybody is enjoying themselves and having a good time together – that’s what this is all about.”

Alongside all the good fun, the Black History Museum of Warren County had a booth set up to shed light on Black history and Juneteenth. The founder, Wayne Wolfard, was on hand to answer questions.

“People have to know their history. They have to get caught up to really learn the true importance of Juneteenth,” explained Wolfard. “If you don’t understand how things once were, that people didn’t have the freedom to go and do everything they wanted, then it is harder to understand and appreciate what they have today.”

The event has been hosted by YMU for over 20 years, and the dedicated group has no intentions of stopping now. It takes all year to get all the moving parts in place, but the end result is always worth it, Ramsay explained. 

“With it now being a national holiday, it is getting even more recognition than before,” said Ramsey. “We are grateful for Warren Arts for participating in this day with us as well as all the support from our sponsors.”