‘We Love America…We Want It To Live Up To Its Values’

NORFOLK -- The Pan Africans of Northeast Nebraska celebrated Juneteenth in Norfolk this weekend. 

Organizer Tamira Volk said the national recognition of the day as a federal holiday now is a statement that the U.S. stands against slavery, and it helps raise awareness.

"This is a monumental achievement," she said. She is excited for the community to come together on Juneteenth.

"One of the misconceptions is that we hate America -- this is not about hatred, we want our country to be better. We want it to live up to its values," Volk said. 

Her friend Ashley Brown, who was leading Zumba at the event, agreed. 

"I don't necessarily think it just needs to be African Americans, it needs to be everyone coming together," Brown said. She wants to see people celebrate together in diverse groups. 

Volk said there is more to do to unite Americans.

"There needs to be education on critical race theory in college -- not elementary school; attention to the anti-lynching bill; decriminalizing marijuana; and small things that criminalize people of color. For example, I had a library fine and there was a warrant out for my arrest over it," Volk said. "Also education such as teaching the full history of America."