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Days after President Joe Biden signed a law that declared Juneteenth a national holiday, cities around the United States celebrated the day with events that included music, fun and other entertainment. Most shared information detailed how African slaves in Texas were told of their new freedom in 1865 (after actually being freed by President Lincoln in 1863). Metro Nashville joined in on the Juneteenth on June 19.
Nashville celebrated the holiday with events such as the Juneteenth Freedom Day Bike Ride that started at Watkins Park in the North Nashville area. Sponsored by Black Girls Do Bike, Bike for Equality; and Oasis Bike Workshop, the purpose of the bike ride was to give bike riders an opportunity to ride through historic North Nashville to view the educational heritages of Fisk University, Meharry Medical College, and Tennessee State University and to show the resiliency of these historic institutions.
According to a press release, bike riders had the choice of which route they wanted (10 miles or 25 miles). Tina Fox, representative of Black Girls Do Bike Nashville, said response to the bike ride was very positive and there are plans for similar bike rides in the future.
When it came to organizing the event, Fox said there were complications in mounting a bike ride, but the organization BGDB was determined to present a Juneteenth event to bring people together. She also said having a bike ride on Juneteenth was significant because it showed the history of various educational institutions, and the unity and solidarity within the community.
People who participated said that BGDB and the event had been a positive experience.
“I wanted to take a moment to say that the Juneteenth event was a hit,” said Ashleigh Wilson. “You all did so well in executing everything. I hope you received great feedback from other attendees.”
Black Girls Do Bike’s goal is to grow and support a community of women of color who share a passion for cycling. BGDB champion attempts to introduce cycling to women and girls of color. They encourage bike advocacy, education, volunteerism and safety in communities throughout the world.