Lexington celebrates Juneteenth in Cadentown

WEKU | By John McGary

In Lexington Monday, the pews at Cadentown Missionary Baptist Church were nearly full for the city’s Juneteenth celebration. One of the attendees was Kimberly Robinson, who grew up in Cadentown, one of 20 historic African-American hamlets in Fayette County identified by historians. Robinson said her parents still live in Cadentown – and she still goes to church there.

“It was a family neighborhood. Everybody knew everybody. Everybody shared their gardens and everything. So it was a community more like a family. Everybody knew everybody.”

The presentation was called “A Sense of Place: Remembering and Celebrating the History of Fayette County’s Rural Black Hamlets.” It featured videos by Jahara Mundyof longtime residents of those communities telling their stories. The guest speaker was Dr. Yvonne Giles – a former Fayette Urban County Council member known as the “cemetery lady” for her sleuthing out of people and families in historic black cemeteries. She showed attendees a book written by a longtime resident of Jonestown, an African American hamlet in the northern part of the county.

“There was a lady whose family owned property. And she on her own created this book that talks about Jonestown community 1891 to 2001.”

Giles encouraged other former and current residents of historic African American hamlets to share their memories, too.

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Photo: Dr. Yvonne Giles, a former member of the Lexington Fayette Urban County Council and a Black historian, was the guest speaker at Monday’s Juneteenth celebration at Cadentown Missionary Baptist Church. John McGary, WEKU

Republished with permission.