AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – For some men, Father’s Day means more than just time with your own children. It also means helping others. An Augusta Juneteenth celebration proved that there are men who reach back into the community to help.
When mid – June hits many African-Americans dig into their ancestry to celebrate Juneteenth.
Herman King, who is part of the organization Band of Brothers, is one of those people.
“We’re approaching the youth from another aspect,” said King who serves as the organization’s Parliamentarian. “We tried many different ways, but first know thyself and know the truth of thyself.”
The group of men known as Band of Brothers is reflecting on a time when America said they were not free more than 150 years ago. So, they put a party together at Pendleton King Park, complete with vendors and wellness checks, to educate people.
“7,000 kids in summer school. That’s unacceptable,” said Ron Allen, Band of Brothers Treasurer. “So, it’s got to be something wrong with the school system. We got parents out here. We have to find a way to educate not only students, but some of the parents.”
Juneteenth became a holiday to reflect on when word spread to the final slaves that President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. That was two years later. Now, this band of brothers is closing the gap in their community this generation. They mentor youth and break down the understanding of why men who look like them sometimes are killed.
Brotha Trav, another member of the group, performed spoken word at the event. He spoke with NewsChannel 6 about what African-American men must do differently.
“There may not be a such thing as true freedom for us as long as we don’t get this part right. Our true freedom has nothing to do with the oppressor. It has everything to do with us. It has everything to do with knowing thyself,” he explained.
Brotha Trav also elaborated on the state of young black males and why there are so many challenges with that group.
“The negative hip hop music that they’re playing all the time. The Molly’s and the Percocets and the drugs and just the glamorization and the glorifying of the dope boy era. That’s not good for us. We need to be able to see these guys, business owners, as positive influences for black people,” he stated.
Band of Brothers plans to focus on mentoring in schools now. They hope to expand soon.
The group also hopes to hold a Juneteenth event every year.