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Vigil against racism to be held at YWCA on Wednesday, all are welcome

By Billie Owens

A vigil against racism and in support of Black Lives Matter will be held at the Batavia YWCA at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15.

The event is organized by "Community Leaders of Genesee County."

Featured speakers will include: Rev. Dr. William Wilkenson and Rev. Shiela Campbell McCullough.

The YWCA is located at 301 North St. in the City of Batavia.

All are welcome.

VIDEO: The first day of the first-ever Juneteenth celebration in Batavia

By Howard B. Owens
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The four local men who organized the March for Justice in Batavia on June 7 have joined together with eight more local residents to form Just Kings Social Club to help promote racial equality in the city. Friday, they hosted their first event at the YWCA: Day one of a two-day Juneteenth celebration.

Today (Saturday), the event starts at noon and runs until 7 p.m. There will be food and beverages, live entertainment, as well as vendor booths.

The YWCA is located at 301 North St., Batavia.

The end of slavery in the United States is not marked by one single date.

Juneteenth evolved out of the cooperation of June 19 in Texas, the day slaves were freed in the former rebellious state in 1865, two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in territory still held by Confederates.

It wouldn't be until December 1865 that the 13th Amendment was ratified banning slavery in the United States. Many believe the struggle for equality and liberty for black Americans has yet to be fully realized.

Photo: Residents at Bank and Washington supporting 'the movement'

By Howard B. Owens


Kathy Poole and Patty Poole were sitting in their yard at Bank and Washington in Batavia late this afternoon with signs around them supporting Black Lives Matter, giving every car that passed their way a big, smiling, friendly wave.

Patty said they wanted to support the movement. 

"I feel like something in the system is pretty screwed up and there has to be a change and that starts at your home, you know," Patty said. "Spread the word."

As for Juneteenth, Patty said the holiday isn't just about black power. It's about power for all people.

"The color of my skin does not define me but a special day like this, I’m going to support it, of course," she said.

Photo: Kathy Poole, Jeneve (last name declined), Jaya, and Patty Poole.

VIDEO: Batavia man holds 'Black Lives Matter' sign at Main and Ellicott

By Howard B. Owens
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Ken Marrocco, a Batavia resident, was at the intersection of Main and Ellicott in Batavia this afternoon and evening carrying a sign that read "Black Lives Matter."

Marrocco was responding to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a police officer, a death that has sparked nationwide protests, some peaceful, some turning violent.

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