19 June 2022
“I think it’s a good day to have both things done at one time,” said Joshua Boyd as he held his young son Jasper close. “We get to celebrate freedom and we get to celebrate fathers. It don’t get no better than that.”
They’re part of the neighborhood party that brought more fathers, sons, mothers and daughters to Roberts Park.
“This is my first year here with this. I’m not from down here, but I had to take the opportunity when I heard about it,” Boyd said.
There were many more dads with children during the march and inside the park for Sunday’s community party, including father of six Ronald Yarborough.
“Three guys, three girls,” Yarborough said. “I’m about to hit the 60 mark.”
Yarborough gave some advice to young and first time fathers.
“Take it slow. Take your time, it’s a long road. We’ll be here,” he said. “One step at a time, one day at a time.”
He and others felt inspired by the sacrifices of ancestors who were enslaved. Juneteenth, now a national holiday, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
Emmanuel “Poobie” Chapman, Enloe High’s men’s basketball coach, organized the march that ended in the park, but it’s not the end of events like it that can bring the community together.
“Maybe in a smaller, different setting. Maybe not a celebration cookout, but more so just honoring your neighbor or helping out a young guy who looks like you, or helping out a young guy who needs help. It’s just a matter of keeping this momentum and doing it every day,” Chapman said. “We all are in the same world, we’re all in the same space and just looking out for each other. It’s not so much a response, I think it’s more of the things we do day to day. If we make today a normality instead of once every year, then I think it becomes more conscious for us to look out for each other.”
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