Juneteenth celebration aims to start conversations, unite community; free summer movies are back at Lexington theater; fans available to eligible senior citizens and the disabled. Here’s What’s Happening in Davidson County.
Juneteenth celebration will focus on history, unity
Highlighting the history — both inspirational and dark — of Davidson County’s Black community will be the cornerstone of the Juneteenth Freedom Celebration (Unity in Our community) event set for June 19 in Lexington.
The celebration, sponsored by Anything For Our Youth, will be divided between virtual and in-person events, said Tina Royal, founder of AFOY.
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The virtual portion begins online at 3 p..m and will include speeches, recorded performances and the showing of a documentary about Black history in Davidson County. An in-person walking history tour of locations important in Lexington’s Black history will begin at 6 pm. at St. Stephen United Methodist Church at 100 E. First St. and end at the Fourth Street Park with a party that includes live music performances, food trucks and more.
Juneteenth traces its origins back to Galveston, Texas, where on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger announced the Civil War had ended and slaves were now free. The announcement came two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of Jan. 1, 1863, that freed slaves in Confederate states. However, because the proclamation was made during the Civil War, it was ignored by Confederate states and it wasn’t until the end of the war that the Executive Order was enforced in the South.
The documentary that will be shown during the virtual portion was made by the Davidson County Historical Museum for Black History Month.
“I learned a lot I did not know before like all the entertainers that came through here and played at the American Legion Post,” Royal said, referring to the Bank-Miller Post #255. “There were so many famous musicians back in the day that played there like James Brown and Tina Turner. It is very interesting.”
Also during the virtual portion, the Rev. Lester Smith will reenact a famous speech and partnering agencies — Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce, Uptown Lexington Inc., Lexington Visitors Center and Lexington City government — will speak about Juneteenth and what their agencies do in the community. In addition, this will be the first year Lexington City employees will observe Juneteenth as an official holiday, allowing employees a day off. Gannett Media, the parent company of The Dispatch, also announced this year Juneteenth is being added to the official employee holiday list.
Other parts of the virtual portion of the Juneteenth celebration include recorded performances by George Smith and members of Union Chapel AME Zion Church and a youth dance group.
Last year was supposed to be the inaugural Juneteenth Celebration in Lexington for AFOY, but had to be scaled back because of COVID-19. The Rev. Dr. Arnetta Beverly lead a history walk in 2020 that began at the former Charles England School on Smith Avenue and ended on Holt Street at the former Morrison-Studivent Funeral Home.
This year Lexington resident and civil rights activist Tyrone Terry will lead the walking history tour. He will share his story of being shot by a white man during a racially motivated incident in downtown Lexington in 1965.
The man shot Terry, and his friend in the back, at point-blank range for “bumping into him.” The most egregious thing about the incident, Terry told a Gannett Media reporter in a 2020 interview, was the response of a police officer who came to the shooting scene.
“I guess one of the business owners called an ambulance and they came and got us,” Terry said. “When [the responding officer] used to see me, after I recovered, I was only 14 or 15, he would drive by me, wherever I was and roll down his window and make his hand into a gun, [pretend to shoot] and ride off laughing.”
The gunman was charged with firing a fire-arm within city limits. There were no charges in relation to gunning down two teenagers.
Other parts of the walk will highlight f and current Black-owned businesses and more.
The walking tour will end at the Fourth Street Park with Ken Davis and Keith Burkhart performing. Shawn Saunders will bring Crump’s House of Smoke food truck and give out free food, with donations accepted. Michael Evans-Bey will have his Hot Dog Heaven cart there, too.
In addition, the Davidson County Health Department will be at the park from 6-8 p.m. providing free Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
“Especially because of last year with the rise in tension in the nation and in our community because of the Confederate statue, I knew it was time do something to bring about unity,” Royal said of reviving the Lexington Juneteenth event. Dorothy Finger began the first Juneteenth celebrations in Lexington in the 1990s.
“… I hope this starts conversations about what is happening. Let’s come together as a community. Hopefully, this will create meaningful relationships that will help our community grow and do more together.”
Lexington theater brings back free summer movies
Lexington Cinemas has brought back its free summer children’s movies line-up offering.
After several years of providing free summer movies weekly from June to August, COVID-19 stopped the viewing fun for Davidson County residents in 2020. haters across the state were closed for months during the pandemic.
The 2021 free summer movies will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 11 and 12. Admission is first-come, first served.
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The movies will begin on June 16 and 17 with “Pets.” Other movies, in order they will be shown are: “Trolls,” “Hotel Transylvania 2, “Spiderman Into the Spiderverse,” “Small Foot,” “Paddington 2,” “Sing,” “Lego Movie 2” and “Angry Birds.”
Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. The theater is located at 235 N. Talbert Blvd. Visit the theater’s Facebook page for more information.
Operation Fan/Heat Relief underway at Senior Services
Davidson County Senior Services is once again offering fans to local senior citizens and people with disabilities to help keep cool during the heat of summer.
The intent of the program is to provide a more comfortable living environment and reduce heat-related illnesses for seniors and those with disabilities in Davidson County.
Applicants must meet eligibility criteria which include:
- Must reside in Davidson County.
- Must be an adult, 60 years of age or older or with a disability.
- Must have a home situation where a threat to health and well-being exists.
Contact Davidson County Senior Services at (336) 242-2290 or firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for a fan. Fans are available by pick up at Davidson County Senior Services in Lexington, 555-B West Center Street Ext. or Thomasville, 211 W. Colonial Drive.
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In response to COVID-19, offices are open on a limited schedule, so please call for an appointment for pickup. Fans can also be delivered in certain circumstances upon request.
Contributions from Duke Energy Carolinas through the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services provide fans to those in need during summer months.
– Jill Doss-Raines is The Dispatch trending topics and personality profiles senior reporter and is always looking for tips about businesses and entertainment events, secret and new menu items, and interesting people in Davidson County. Contact me at email@example.com and subscribe to us at the-dispatch.com.
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