APPOMATTOX, Va. – Now that the country will recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday, a local group is doing its part to bring understanding to the community.
Appomattox has been, and will always be, home for sisters Joetricia and Laquil Humbles.
“Let’s all come together,” Joetricia says.
In a town of 1,500, the Humbles found a need to unite and inspire people of different backgrounds in the community. They started Appomattox For Equality last summer. Within days, they hosted their first annual Juneteenth celebration.
“We wanted to let them know that there are individuals out here that understand what they were fighting for and what they needed,” Laquil says.
As the country celebrates it as the first national holiday since MLK Day, the Humbles are reminding us that it’s so much more than a three-day weekend.
“Everyone did not have their independence until June 19, 1865, hence Juneteenth,” Laquil says. “That is why we celebrate this.”
While we take steps toward equality, these sisters say we still have a long way to go and that conversations need to lead to action.
“We need to be open and realize that the history of our country isn’t all rainbows,” Joetricia says. “It’s hard, it’s uncomfortable. The cycle is continuing because we aren’t truly learning the history.”
Joetricia says she’s taking a stand so that those she leaves behind can have a better life than those who came before her. Appomattox will host its second annual Juneteenth celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Courtland Festival Park.