New Juneteenth Banner
Juneteenth (June 19) is now an official state holiday, voted in last year too late for official observance, although the significance of the date had been recognized in the state to varying degrees since 2007. The Anti-Racism Team commissioned a banner to observe the holiday.
The banner was designed by Frances Killam and is based on the Juneteenth flag, conceived by activist Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF). Haith created the flag in 1997 with the help of collaborators, and Boston-based illustrator Lisa Jeanne Graf turned their vision into reality. The flag was revised in 2000.
Here’s what each element of the design represents:
- The star: The white star in the center of the flag has a dual meaning, Haith said. For one, it represents Texas, the Lone Star State. But the star also represents the freedom of African Americans in all 50 states.
- The burst: The bursting outline around the star is inspired by a nova, a term that astronomers use to mean a new star. On the Juneteenth flag, this represents a new beginning for the African Americans of Galveston and throughout the land.
- The arc: The curve that extends across the width of the flag represents a new horizon: the opportunities and promise that lay ahead for black Americans.
- The colors: The red, white and blue represents the American flag, a reminder that slaves and their descendants were and are Americans. And while the fight for equality and justice in this country continues, Haith said those colors symbolize the continuous commitment of people in the United States to do better — and to live up to the American ideal of liberty and justice for all.
The banner will hang from June 16 to June 22.Healing ConversationsIn keeping with the commitment in our First Parish covenant to care and be present to one another in our joys and sorrows, Rev. Ellen and the Pastoral Care Team offer this grief and loss group on the second and fourth Mondays of the month for virtual check-ins via Zoom to nurture and hold a sacred space to share stories, experiences, and emotions around love, loss and grief in a spirit of mutual care and deep listening. This is an ongoing group that folks in our First Parish community can join during the year, while maintaining it as a confidential and supportive space. The Zoom session will last only as long as needed for people to check in and get support if needed.
If you are interested on joining, please contact Rev. Ellen