PROVINCETOWN – On their wedding day, Erika Johnson and Elizabeth Lindsey from Washington, DC were among the more than 100 people gathered to celebrate a Juneteenth Commemoration and Parade, in Provincetown yesterday.
“It is a really important day to us,” Lindsey said.
They attended the ceremony at the Pilgrim Monument and the march down Commercial Street led by a pair of African drummers. The celebration comes just days after Juneteenth was declared a national holiday by President Biden.
Their favorite part of the ceremony, Johnson and Lindsey said, was when three young girls from Provincetown recited the poem, “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman, made famous when Gorman recited it during President Biden’s inauguration.
The setting of Provincetown’s Juneteenth event was significant, with the Pilgrim Monument looming over the proceedings and the town rooftops and harbor spread out below.
Dr. David Weidner, executive director of the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, said his organization, with a new mission, is now dedicated to telling the full story of Provincetown, including the contributions of the Wampanoag and other indigenous peoples.
The event was organized by Provincetown’s Racial Justice Committee in conjunction with organizers in New York’s Fire Island community, perhaps the first time the two historically gay-friendly vacation destinations have collaborated on an event.
Along the parade route, the group had prepared signage about the significant role of people of color in the community over the years, based on research done by David Dunlop, a New York Times architecture reporter who wrote the book, “Building Provincetown,” a cultural study of the town’s buildings.
The march ended near 54 Commercial Street, said to have been a safe house along the Underground Railroad.
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