Brooklyn Park Residents Celebrate Liberia’s Independence Day
Seniors gathered in Brooklyn Park to kick off five days of celebrations for Liberia’s Independence Day. Events culminate this weekend with a banquet, soccer and kickball tournaments, and a prayer service.
Celebrating Liberia’s Independence Day
“In Liberia, every corner you pass, you would’ve seen the celebration going on,” said Mae Harmon.
Harmon adds that forefathers taught their children to celebrate their independence.
A dinner and evening for seniors kicked off the celebration. The events are organized by the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM). Many seniors wore colorful traditional dress to mark the occasion.
“I am a Liberian American. I have become an American, but I still carry that culture,” explains Mae Harmon.
A colorful assembly of seniors turned out for the first celebration in Brooklyn Park marking Liberia’s Independence Day.
“We wanted a day set aside for elders in our community,” explained Georgette Gray, the executive director. “We decided to bring them in and have a day separate for them. Because the rest of the activities are moving so fast and they not be able to catch up with us.”
The OLM has also planned an Independence Ball at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest. They will honor Governor Mark Dayton that evening.
But some of the most popular activities happen on Saturday, when soccer and kickball tournaments follow a parade. On Sunday, a prayer service concludes five days of events.
“It makes us reflect on the historical tie between Liberia and America,” says Abraham Brima Bah, chair. “It also makes us think about the struggle and the challenges the country has been facing.”
About Liberian Independence
The American Colonization Society settled Liberia in 1822. The settlers declared independence on July 26, 1847. The United Kingdom was the first country to recognize Liberia’s independence. The United States recognized the country’s independence much later, during the Civil War in 1862.