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Roxbury to celebrate Juneteenth with parade, observances

Sunday's celebration will start with a parade at 1 p.m. from Nubian Square, followed by a speaking program at 4 p.m. featuring US Attorney Rachael Rollins.Boston Juneteenth Committee

Celebrating Juneteenth for the second year as a federal holiday, community members are coming together for a parade and observance of the holiday in Roxbury on Sunday.

U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins will be the keynote speaker for the 12th annual Juneteenth Emancipation Observance hosted by the Boston Juneteenth Committee and National Center for Afro-American Artists, the organizations said in a statement.

The holiday this year coincides with Father’s Day.

Rollins is expected to speak on the theme of the celebration, “Purposeful Action Anchored in Truth,” according to the statement.

The speaking program is due to start at 4:00 p.m. at the NCAAA museum grounds at 300 Walnut Ave. There will also be a reading of the federal documents that ended slavery in the United States, such as the 13th Amendment and Emancipation Proclamation, and a ceremony to present the Ralph F. Browne Awards to two Boston activists.


“Juneteenth recalls for us what we owe our ancestors who gave us a tradition of activism and an obligation to honor truth,” NCAAA Director Edmund Barry Gaither said in the statement.

The festivities will begin earlier at 1:00 p.m with an inaugural parade from the Boys and Girls Club in Nubian Square to the museum grounds, celebrating the new federal designation. Juneteenth was signed into law last June, as the 11th federal holiday.

“I am so excited to be celebrating Juneteenth as a national observance for the first time,” Boston Juneteenth Committee chairperson Jumaada Abdal-Khallaq H. Smith said in the statement.

On the museum grounds, families can enjoy a reenactment of the Massachusetts 54th Infantry Ceremonial Unit, musical performances, art stations, games and storytelling while also checking out food and cultural product vendors, organizers said.

Madison Mercado can be reached at madison.mercado@globe.com.