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Norwood - Local Town Pages

Juneteenth for Three!

By Bella Caggiano 
Norwood knows how to celebrate. The Town hosts many annual and specialty events that draw in crowds from around the state. Juneteenth can now be added to the list thanks to the original organizer, Norwood Police Officer Geoffrey Baguma, and new committee members, Morrill Memorial Library Director Clayton Cheever, Ieshia Karasik, and Assistant Recreation Department Director Sam White
“This event has been a great event to include into the lineup of Norwood’s annual events,” Officer Baguma said. “It is an excellent opportunity for the town to come together and learn together while celebrating the federal holiday of Juneteenth.” 
The Town Common will again be filled with eating, dancing, and singing, for the 3rd Annual Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 15, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Bring comfortable shoes, chairs, and an appetite as the fun-filled afternoon will include events for kids, a DJ, singers, poetry readings, dance, artwork, and possibly a dramatic performance. Currently scheduled for entertainment are the Mathematics, Trend N Motion, a songstress from Norwood High School, a melodic performance from the Coakley Middle School chorus, possibly a jazz band and beer garden, and much more!
“One of our artists ‘Mathematics,’ has professionally grown since he was with us for our first Norwood Juneteenth,” Officer Baguma said. “He is returning for our now third event. He was recently on a TedTalk.  He is a musician, spoken word artist, actor, and motivational speaker. He will be accompanied by his artists at the event, which will include singers and poets.” 
Juneteenth, short for June 19, commemorates the day when federal troops marched into Galveston, TX, in 1865, two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to ensure the freedom of slaves. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a national holiday honoring the end of slavery in the United States. 
“Every year that we put together Norwood Juneteenth, the goal is to always educate and celebrate,” Baguma said. “This is and will always be a great opportunity to learn together. By learning together, we can understand each other better. With a greater understanding of each other, we can then celebrate our new found connection. We like to quote Maya Angelou and others in history who have said, ‘If one of us isn’t free, none of us are free.’” 
As in previous years, members of the Norwood community will also be recognized with the Norwood Juneteenth Honors. These awards will go to people who have given back to and/or educated the community in the areas of inclusion and diversity. 
The Juneteenth committee is also looking for family-friendly art pieces from local artists related to Juneteenth and freedom to display at the celebration. If you are interested in providing an art piece for the event, reach out to the Norwood Juneteenth Committee at [email protected]
Vendors will also be present on the common to share information with the community. There still may be time for businesses and residents who may be interested in participating. Inquires can be directed through email at [email protected].
Lastly, events such as this require funding and volunteers. To donate and support this important and historic event for this year and future years, consider donating to the Juneteenth Venmo account on this page. One hundred percent of donations go towards the event which can only be possible through the generosity of Norwood neighbors. If you would like to become a volunteer for the event, email [email protected].  Help is needed 9 a.m.-noon for set-up, during the event, and breaking down at 3:30 p.m.