2021 Juneteenth Commemoration Bar Harbor, ME
In spring of 2021, Juneteenth Downeast was inspired by Yo-Yo Ma, who was going to be coming to the Acadia National Park area during that week. He told a friend that if there was going to be a Juneteenth celebration, he would like to play his cello as part of the program. That friend approached MDI Racial Equity Working Group (REWG), five weeks before Juneteenth, to ask if there was a Juneteenth celebration planned in the area. REWG members said they did not know of an event being planned, but that if Yo-Yo Ma wanted to play, we would make it happen. And we did. Juneteenth Downeast has grown from that first Commemoration to what we have today, with a year-round planning team, inspiring community and connection among Black Mainers, Indigenous and People of Color, and committed allies. Thank you, Yo-Yo Ma.
MDI Racial Equity Working Group, Downeast Diversity, MDI YWCA, Healthy Acadia, and College of the Atlantic were honored to organize the first local Juneteenth Commemoration event in Bar Harbor, Maine on Saturday, June 19, 2021.
An array of Maine artists and speakers joined in to share amazing music and voices, to celebrate the rich culture of African Americans, to commemorate the ending of slavery, to honor the dedication and sacrifices of so many in the struggle for racial justice, and to raise awareness about Juneteenth and the critical ongoing work to tackle racism and advance racial equity.
The 2021 Juneteenth Commemoration featured musical performances by, Hawk Henries, Rodney Mashia, Mount Desert Island Chorus, Pihcintu Chorus, with a surprise appearance by Yo-Yo Ma. Guest speakers included Alyne Cistone, Theresa Daniels-Hemphill, and Charlie Parker.
2021 JUNETEENTH COMMEMORATION VIDEO