This weekend, Evanston celebrates father’s day giveaway and Juneteenth.
The RoundTable went out to local shops and restaurants along the Main-Dempster Mile on Friday, June 17, as the temperature finally dropped below 90 degrees, to ask folks what Father’s Day means to them as they prepare for the celebration this weekend.
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Father’s Day, as always, falls in the middle of Pride Month, and this year it also happens to fall on the same day as Juneteenth, the newly minted official holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States father’s day giveaway.
Alongside father’s day giveaway all of those events coinciding this year, many Evanston residents said they are looking forward to celebrating Father’s Day this weekend through an intersectional lens with their Black and LGBTQ+ neighbors.
Booked, a children’s and youth bookstore on Main Street, general manager Eli Cooper-Nelson told the RoundTable that he and his staff want to give literary options that are comprehensive and inclusive of all three events this weekend: Juneteenth, Father’s Day, and Pride Month.
“Being a gay and trans person, Father’s Day can be a little complicated in some respects.” Cooper-Nelson stated, “That connection hasn’t always been great.” “And then there’s the fact that I live a block away from my father-in-law and a mile away from my father, so we’ll be doing the rounds for our family as well, which is the nature of being local.”
“It seems like there’s a lot to take in at once….” But, as a white person, I want to make sure that Father’s Day does not overshadow Juneteenth.”
For many people, Father’s Day is more about reminiscing about the past than it is about honoring the present. Lillie Parsons and her daughter, Felisha Parsons, have resided in Evanston for more than 50 years. Because Lillie’s husband and Felisha’s father served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, Father’s Day is an opportunity to remember his life, legacy, and devotion to the country father’s day giveaway.
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Adding the Juneteenth holiday to the mix feels natural to Felisha. “It’s really a happy time for me,” she remarked. “It’s all about family, remembering our loved ones, honouring our heritage, and simply being proud of who we are and what we’ve given to this country,” she says.
Participating in the 23rd annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate is part of Felisha’s Father’s Day and Juneteenth activities, she added. The annual spring event celebrated the lives and legacy of Byrdsong, a Northwestern University basketball coach who was assassinated in Skokie in 1999 by a white nationalist. Felisha is familiar with the Byrdsong family and makes it a point to attend the race every year, she added.
Manager Cheryl Nester-Detweiler of Ten Thousand Villages said the store’s new men’s shirts had been a success as Father’s Day gifts. She will have to work on Sunday because she works in retail, but she hopes to celebrate with her husband and children on Monday, her day off.
When asked about her plans, Nester-Detweiler answered, “Whatever my spouse wants to do.” “Normally, I’ll just let him pick.” Let’s simply do whatever he wants because it’s his day. I believe we will grill, but most of the time it is simply spending time together doing family things. That is something he adores.”
Aaron and Charlotte Jaffe, 92 and 90 years old, were celebrating their 71st wedding anniversary outside Hoosier Mama Pie Company on Chicago Avenue. Aaron served in the Illinois Assembly for 14 years and as a Cook County judge for more than two decades. In 1951, the pair married on Father’s Day. As a result, they generally combine Father’s Day with their wedding anniversary, usually with their children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren.
Charlotte and Aaron say they’ve been fortunate to have most of their children and grandchildren live near them in the Chicago region over the years, allowing them to be present while their children’s children grew up.
“It’s been an incredible journey,” Charlotte added. “We were a team, and I believe that team psychology had to evolve, that respect for one another’s interests and passions had to develop.”