National Juneteenth Observance Foundation
Celebration of Freedom
The MAAFA is a Kiswahili
term for "terrible occurrence" or "great disaster".
It refers to the Black
Holocaust when millions of Africans died during the journey of captivity
from the west coast of Africa to the shores of America, known as the Middle Passage.
Our ancestors died in the belly of slave ships or choose death by jumping into
the sea rather than live in captivity.
It is a remembrance of the thousands of African Americans lynched and murdered before and after the end of enslavement. This especially includes the Red Summer of 1919 and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, considered the worst domestic terrorist event in U.S. history.
The annual Omaha Juneteenth Maafa Memorial Reconciliation and Healing Prayer Service takes place every year on the "Monday following the 2nd Sunday in June" on the steps of Omaha City Hall. The service is a remembrance of the Red Summer of 1919 and the horrible lynching of Will Brown during the Omaha Race Riot of 1919.
The National Juneteenth Maafa Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony takes place in Washington, DC during the National Day of Remembrance of the Maafa in America and occurs each year on the "18th of June", during the week of the observance of Juneteenth in America.
The 2016 National Juneteenth Maafa Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, the "18th of June", 2016, 5:00pm, at Lincoln Park Emancipation Memorial, across the street from Lincoln Park United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Diane Dixon-Proctor, Pastor, 1301 North Carolina Avenue, N.E., Washington, DC. The theme of the Wreath Laying Ceremony is "A Time To Heal, A Time To Pray."
JUNETEENTH, A TIME OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE HORRORS OF THE MAAFA IN AMERICA
By Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman
National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
January 30, 2005
Sponsors of the Annual:
"Most gatherings are decidedly upbeat, but the sobering reason for the holiday has also been part of Juneteenth's growth. Dr. Ronald Myers, the leader of a movement to make Juneteenth a national holiday, says June 19 should be an annual remembrance of the horrors of slavery.
We never got our apology, so we need this holiday to remind us that we must not forget," said Dr. Myers, who spoke yesterday at a Juneteenth event at the Capitol led by Representative Danny K. Davis, Democrat of Illinois." New York Times, 6/19/04
As we were reminded about the horrors of the Jewish Holocaust during World War II many African-Americans are reminded of our own tragic history of slavery, the middle passage and the lynching and murders of our people before and after the civil war. We ponder as to why so little attention has been given to our own history of death and destruction in America. In response, we have embraced the term "Maafa", a Kiswahili term meaning "disaster" or "terrible occurrence", to tell our own story about our enslavement and the sustained attempt to dehumanize us.