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Century Black Student Union Hosts Juneteenth Celebration

June 23, 2021 - Students from Century High School’s Black Student Union (CHS BSU) launched HSD’s 1st annual Juneteenth Celebration on Thursday, Jun. 17, to commemorate the newly-minted national holiday and to recognize graduating seniors. After proposing the concept and filling out facility request paperwork, the students sought speakers, entertainment, and Black-owned and operated businesses to highlight.

HSD students, staff, and community members came together to listen, learn, and connect in this celebration of the end of chattel slavery in the United States. Juneteenth officially recognizes the emancipation of the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, in 1965 – 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln. Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement of the African Diaspora.

Speakers included John Allen, principal of West Union Elementary School, Jasmine Taylor, Portland State University Admissions, and Bo Stephens, Shades of Unity PDX; songs were performed by Xylecia Fynn Aikins (“Dr. Fynn”) and her daughter Alecia Taylor; and food was provided by Southern Kitchen PDX and Jelana’s Bake Shop. The CHS Art Department led participants in the creation of a mural, and CHS Percussion finished out the night with a drum line performance.

Special thanks to Century High School and to the Black Village Family Advisory Committee (BVFAC), as well as BSU student leaders throughout the District.