Celebrate Freedom Day at the TybeeMLK Juneteenth Celebration

Celebrate Freedom Day at the TybeeMLK Juneteenth Celebration

Founded in 2013, TybeeMLK is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing human rights and social justice for all. TybeeMLK engages local citizens in grassroots organizing for the betterment of our community. The organization’s first achievement was getting the City of Tybee to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a government holiday, and since, TybeeMLK has had many successes to include launching the Tybee Island Black History Trail, commemorating the Lazaretto, and establishing ties with Accra, Ghana — connecting the historical link between the Lazaretto and the Door of No Return in Ghana. In addition to this important work, TybeeMLK also hosts a number of signature events throughout the year, with the next big one fast approaching.

TybeeMLK will soon host their annual Juneteenth Celebration and Wade-In in recognition of America’s true Freedom Day, which marks the end of chattel slavery in the U.S. This year’s events will take place Sunday, June 16; Monday, June 17; and Wednesday, June 19. On June 16–17, community members are invited to take part in the freedom festivities taking place at South Beach’s iconic Pier and Pavilion. Over the course of two days, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., attendees can enjoy a live DJ and a variety of Afro-centric vendors and artists who will have goods available for sale on the pier. 

Then on the Juneteenth holiday, Wednesday, June 19, TybeeMLK will host their 11th annual Wade-In, a Tybee tradition that’s been occurring since long before Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021.  

“We’ve been celebrating Juneteenth since 2014,” said Julia Pearce, TybeeMLK co-founder and coordinator.

At 9 a.m. that morning, community members will wade in to the water to commemorate Juneteenth, the lives stolen and lost during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and the desegregation of the beach, which college students once waded into to bring about that pivotal progress. 

“This Juneteenth, we have Patt Gunn and the Saltwata Players. She will bring us into the wade-in and she does a wonderful job,” said Pearce. 

Master storyteller Patt Gunn will share inspiring tales of trial and triumph from the African Diaspora, while samba drummers beat boldly as celebrants march forth into the Atlantic. Each year, it’s a revered time of remembrance and resilience. 

TybeeMLK encourages all members of the community to join them for their Juneteenth Celebration, as it symbolizes the progress made thus far and the path that lies ahead. To learn more about TybeeMLK’s Juneteenth festivities and other upcoming events, visit tybeemlk.com/upcoming-special-events

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