Local clergy members known as the Milledgeville-Baldwin Ministerial Alliance (MBMA) have organized Juneteenth events meant to educate the public and also “increase public solidarity” to stand against structural racism. This event will take place Friday, June 19, beginning at 10:40 a.m.
According to the press release promoting Friday’s events, representatives of MBMA include Pastor Rechard Larkin of Mitchell Zion Baptist Church, Pastor Craig Portwood of Pathfinders Christian Church and Dr. Omer M. Reid, pastor of Flagg Chapel Baptist Church.
The day begins at 10:40 a.m. with a “Walk of Unity” from the Mary Vinson Memorial Library to the peace monument at the corner of Hancock and Wilkinson streets near the Baldwin County Courthouse. Upon reaching the peace monument at 11 a.m., clergy members will lead the community in prayer for “peace, justice and reconciliation.” Next will be a press conference, and finally Dr. Veronica Womack of Georgia College’s Rural Studies Institute will lead a virtual presentation on the history of Juneteenth and other significant milestones in African American history. The presentation is set to begin at 1 p.m. Friday and can be accessed online via video conference platform zoom by following this link: www.facebook.com/Milledgeville-Baldwin-Ministerial-Alliance-110185174071631/.
“As clergy men and women we believe that LOVE works, heals, and covers,” states the press release sent out Wednesday. “Thus, recognizing the divides caused by structural and institutional racism, we stand against the philosophy that Black/Minority lives are less valuable than their White counterparts. Therefore, we stand for justice for the many innocent Black/Minority men and women that the institutional system of racism has impacted, as well as, those it continues to impact. Lastly, as men and women of the Gospel, we truly remain in prayer for One Nation, Under God.”
Juneteenth, which falls on June 19, commemorates the beginning of the end of slavery in the United States. The original date was June 19, 1865 when Union Gen. Gordon Granger read the order proclaiming that all enslaved persons in Texas had been freed.