Juneteenth highlights African-American history, culture

Jun 16, 2017

An annual celebration of African-American culture and history will be held this weekend at Martin Luther King Park.

Scene from a previous Juneteenth
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO

The 42nd annual Juneteenth will include a parade, local artists, music, a marketplace and a food court.

The Charter School of Inquiry in Buffalo will have a booth at the popular event. Rob Fetter, head of the school, told WBFO that incorporating African-American history is a core value of the school’s curriculum.

“It’s very important for our students to understand the culture and the history that came before them, not just in a textbook sense, but also in a sense that allows them to make a personal connection,” Fetter said.

Some students from CSI learned African drumming and will perform near the school’s booth at 2 p.m. Saturday.

An exhibit at a previous Juneteenth.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO

Teachers and staff from CSI will also be at the booth to provide a number of hands-on activities for children that Fetter said keeps with the school’s spirit of engaged learning. Kids will be able to participate in inquiry-based activities— from playing prediction games to constructing catapults and toothpick towers.

“Ultimately, the goal is not to create a game or a gimmick, but to really ask questions,” said Fetter. “So as the children are engaging in these activities, they’ll be asked to really inquire about what makes it work. Why does it act the way it acts? What can we do differently to make it act differently?”

Fetter believes the new “inquiry piece,” with its interactive games, will offer a truer sense of CSI’s teaching methods to prospective students and families.

Festivities will be held throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday at Martin Luther King Park on Buffalo’s East Side.