Original full article: http://www.progress-index.com/article/20150622/NEWS/150629923
By •Amir Vera, firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 722-5155
It was a day of dedications, unveilings and remembrance as Petersburg held its second Juneteenth Freedom Festival. This year’s celebration happened to fall on the 150th anniversary of June 19, 1865, which is considered the date when the last of slaves were officially freed in America. A historic marker was unveiled Sunday honoring Pocahontas Island, which was one of the oldest and largest free African American communities within the United States of America. “In this place we are blessed to stand on the land where our ancestors once walked,” said Dr. Lauranett Lee, board member with the Department of Historic Resources. “Virginia’s first historical road markers were erected in 1927 and ours is the oldest state marker program in the country. Since that time we have erected more than 2,500 signs across the commonwealth. The marker program would not exist without the participation of community-minded citizens.” ...
Also unveiled during the Petersburg celebration was the work by Cuban muralist, Salvador González Escalona. His 10-foot-by-12-foot mural called “The Dream of the Drum” was inaugurated in October 2014 as part of the Legacy Media Institute International Film Festival. He has since finished the work, which will be displayed in the new Petersburg Area Transit Office building according to Marie Coone, city operations manager for museum and visitor services. “This work is dedicated to the African Diaspora, not just the United States but in the Caribbean and everywhere in the world. This work that I present to you is a symbol of those people of African descent wherever they came from and wherever they landed,” Salvador said through his translator Geoffroy De Laforcade, associate professor of Latin American and Caribbean History at Norfolk State University.