GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – For a black business owner in Eastern North Carolina, Sunday’s crowd was a marker of success and community.
When families sat down for a meal, were they celebrating Father’s Day or Juneteenth?
“It is a day of celebration but it is also a day of reflection,” said Coffee and Spice owner Alicia McKesson. “When you think about Juneteenth and the history of Juneteenth, you obviously know what Juneteenth is, but what does that mean to us now? What does that mean when it comes to a sense of community and building that?”
For the country’s newest federal holiday to fall on a historically busy day for hungry families, a packed dining room is just what this husband-and-wife duo needed.
“I think it means a lot. It means hopefully we are doing something correct,” said McKesson’s husband Bobby Melvin. “It reaffirms what we are doing and that people would want to come and spend Juneteenth, Father’s Day with us.”
With the official proclamation signed by President Biden in 2021, Juneteenth is recognized on June 19 each year. The holiday honors the day in 1865 when the news of freedom reached some of the last enslaved African American men and women in the United States.
Father’s Day is a day of celebrating uncles, brothers, cousins, and anyone else who may be a dad particularly with the world we live in today.
“Especially in today’s economy, it means a lot,” Melvin said. “You can reflect spend time with your loved ones. I am going to go fishing with my dad.”
The level of gratitude for the black-owned coffee shop’s customers did not go unnoticed.
“We take a lot of pride in that people choose us and to create that history and it come back full circle,” McKesson said.
The federal observance of the holiday will take place Monday, June 20.
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