(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Midtown community gathered at John Lucas Park Saturday for a celebration commemorating Juneteenth.
The area was packed with people celebrating a week-long event that commemorated the realization of freedom for African-American slaves.
"Juneteenth for me is us being free," Stacy Davis, attendant, and spoken word artist said, "As well as letting those people who are still living in captivity know they also are free."
Organizers of this year’s celebration gave attendees the opportunity to express that freedom, showcasing the strengths of the community in a talent show.
"Whether it's playing an instrument, dance or whatever, we need to empower them." Kimberly Warren CEO MidCity Excellence and talent show host said.
As they gathered for the celebration, attendees shared their thoughts about the progress made in this country since the days of slavery, they said the fight for full freedom is still ongoing.
"Even though we’re free we still go through things that put us down on the totem pole," Durell Fane, Juneteenth committee member said.
"We as a people are still what my kids would call free-ish," Davis said.
Attendees said the power to change minds for the better and make way down the road to real freedom starts from within.
"True freedom is economic development, graduating, fulfilling your dreams but not waiting for anybody to do it for you," Warren said.
Davis won this year's talent show for her spoken word performance she received a grand prize of $100.