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Big Juneteenth party planned for Medford, with smaller party in Ashland

In just a few years, the 19th of June has gone from a somewhat obscure date in American history to a national holiday. Juneteenth is the date in 1865 on which a Union general in Texas informed former slaves that they were indeed free from slavery.

Black Americans have celebrated for a long time, but the designation as a national holiday came in 2021. BASE Southern Oregon--BASE standing for Black Alliance and Social Empowerment--plans another Juneteenth celebration at Pear Blossom Park in downtown Medford, to be held two days early, on Saturday, June 17th.

BASE member Kym McCandes talks to us about the plans for the event, with further details on Ashland's celebration (on the 18th) from Micah Blacklight and Tía Laída Fé.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.