Juneteenth Celebration 2022

Join us for our 2nd Annual Juneteenth celebration with the Metuchen Human Relations Commission and Metuchen Edison Branch of the NAACP. Learn about this important holiday and enjoy performances from drumline, step-dancer and majorette performers.

The theme of 2022 will be Afrofuturism and enjoy our Downtown with art focused on Afrofuturism throughout!

What is Afrofuturism?

It’s the story of musicians, artists, writers, philosophers, fashion icons, filmmakers, costume and set designers, actors, activists and academics who have believed in a better future for Black people — and for all people.

Afrofuturism, more concretely, can be understood as a wide-ranging social, political and artistic movement that dares to imagine a world where African-descended peoples and their cultures play a central role in the creation of that world.

Central to the concept of Afrofuturism are the science-fiction writers Octavia Butler and Samuel R. Delany and the Jazz musician Sun Ra, who created a mythical persona that merged science fiction with Egyptian mysticism. It is this otherness that is at the heart of Afrofuturism.

Those inspired by Afrofuturism include the musician George Clinton, the artist Ellen Gallagher and the film director Wanuri Kahiu.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.

Juneteenth Performers and Presenters

SoulPhamm United

SoulPhamm United (“SPU”) is the nonprofit arm of SoulDeevas LLC and will feature an array of academic, athletic and artistic programs for young people in New Jersey and New York City, as well as opportunities for social networking, community activism and volunteer service for youth and adults around the world.Created by Dr. Leisa Herrera (Mz. Doc) and her husband Luis (Coach Lou), SoulPhamm is dedicated to the memory of BASiC/The 1City Youth Project, which provided the same opportunities for children in Central Brooklyn communities from 1990-2010 – serving more than 4000 children in a 100% volunteer led structure.

Positive Movement Entertainment

Tony Royster grew up in the Pulaski Housing Projects in the city of Philadelphia. Drill team was his saving grace, it made him feel a part of something and gave him confidence. He’s certain that without his drums he would be lost. One day, Tony realized that he wanted to do more – pursue a higher purpose. It didn’t take long for him to conclude, his two passions were drumming and contributing to his community. He envisioned a way to positively impact all the kids that reminded him so much of himself growing up and in 2011, Positive Movement was started as a drum line and became a drill team in 2014. PME is probably the most distinguishable drum line in Philadelphia thanks to Tim Harris and Seven Knots Film released a documentary in April 2020 about Mr. Y NOT and his mission. The group can be seen on any given day drumming throughout the city of Philadelphia. [Docu Films]

Steppaz with Attitude

Steppaz with Attitude started in 2018 and is a step club part of the Rahway High School led under the direction of High School English Teacher and Coach Ms. Simone Smith. They are the district’s first step team and have competed in competitions across the region.