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Michael Hancock will get hands-off treatment at this weekend's Juneteenth celebration

michael hancock at the podium.JPG
Michael Hancock.
As a teenager, Michael Hancock told Channel 4 that one day he wanted to be Denver's first black mayor. Wellington Webb beat him to that title, but still, Hancock made history with one of the strangest-ever starts to a mayoral term. He was elected to the office by a huge margin that showed he was the clear choice of voters, regardless of their race -- and regardless of the Denver Players prostitution rumors that put his honeymoon on hold.

"Hands off Hancock!," says Brother Jeff , who has a cultural center on Welton Street, the historic heart of Denver's black community. "Mayor-elect Michael Hancock, his family and supporters did not have an opportunity to celebrate his/our tremendous victory before Hancock's character and values came under attack."

But they will this weekend. After some rocky times, including an outright cancellation in 2007, Juneteenth -- the holiday that marks the day when slaves in Texas finally learned that they'd been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation -- has again taken hold in Five Points. This year's Juneteenth event, which has grown into a celebration of freedoms everywhere and is presented by the Friends of Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, starts at 10 a.m. tomorrow with a march that leaves Manual High School and heads into the heart of Five Points. The party continues until 6 p.m., with entertainers filling a stage at 1700 East 28th Avenue.

But first, Brother Jeff has also reestablished the Juneteenth Senior Luncheon, which will be held today. "Our seniors deserve to be included in all aspects of community," he says. ""Without these pioneers, we would have no traditions to celebrate."

Those pioneers also gave reason for would-be politicos like a young Michael Hancock to aim high. Without them, we might not have had Denver's second black mayor.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Michael Hancock, Denver's new mayor, had a good campaign -- and a lucky office."


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3 comments
Gussieevans
Gussieevans

Once again CONGRAT MAYOR MICHAEL HANOCK. I am new to Denver,Co. I enjoy being an voluteer for Michael Hancock 2011 mayor campaige.

 Lived down south in the area of New Orleans relocating to Atlanta,GA., pick up my arch and move to the eastcoast now here in the midwest. I have learned and meet a lot of my black people. As a whole we are unique people.

JUNETEEENTH  has enlighten my knowledge about my black history. I never heard of JUNTEENTH before. I was there Saturday I really enjoy myself, We as BLACK people can come togther an enjoy our and  of course "  OUR FREEDOOM"

KEEP JUNETEENTH ALIVE. THER IS HOPE !!!!!!

Also I would like to applause The Friends of Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library

Mrs G. Marie Evans

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for the post, Gussieevans, and welcome to Denver.

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