Omaha organization to celebrate Black history and influence for Juneteenth

The historian and teacher believes Juneteeth is an opportunity to teach the next generation about the importance of the day.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - This year for the first time Juneteenth will be celebrated as a national holiday.

The holiday celebrates the end of slavery. But an Omaha organization also wants to celebrate the influence Black inventors, activists and entrepreneurs had in American history in the years that followed.

It’s tradition here in Omaha. A parade that runs through the Black community highlighting the celebration of Juneteenth.

Jade Rogers is the founder and chief innovation officer of Afros, Capes and Curls. She’s preparing to celebrate Juneteeth this year by holding a tea party.

“Steampunk tea party is a celebration of Black excellence in the victorian era,” Rogers said. “Usually when we talk about slavery we end with the civil rights movement. We may make a pit stop into the Harlem renaissance, but we never really stop and honor those people that we either free or enslaved right after slavery who were doing amazing things.”

Rogers says learning can be fun. She’s had workshops with kids preparing for the steampunk tea party, to take a fun trip through history.

“If we have kids, know who they are in that history, they will absorb it better, they will appreciate it and they will love learning about it because they see themselves.”

Rogers is a historian and a teacher. She believes Juneteenth is an opportunity to teach the next generation, about the importance of the day and the importance of looking to the future.

“We also have put a great burden on our young people in fixing everything that’s going on in society, but we don’t tell them how it got broken so this is one of those opportunities to let them see what people did once they were free to move throughout this country and pursue their dreams in the midst of obstacles.”

The steampunk tea party will happen Saturday at the north Omaha Music and Arts on 24th and Lake. There will be live music, a murder mystery and a board game parlor. Tickets can be purchased from Afros, Capes and Curls.

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