Juneteenth is a combination of June and the 19, which represent the day in 1865 when the last slaves in America (Galveston, Texas) were freed. This was more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves all over the rest of the country.
It may be the middle of June, but members of our community are celebrating a different kind of Independence Day.
Though the Emancipation Proclamation became official January 1, 1863, it had little impact on Texas due to a minimal number of Union troops present to enforce it.
"Every year it's larger and larger".
Alexandria residents gathered on Saturday for the annual Juneteenth celebration.
It's a day in history that many believe should never be forgotten.
Not Gaddy, owner of I Drum 2 U in Augusta, held an African drum workshop for the kids at the event. In 1866, communities in Texas began celebrating the emancipation.
As the celebration has evolved, Rodeos, fishing, barbecuing, baseball and other community activities have become popular Juneteenth activities along with a focus on education and self-improvement.
Numerous fans of the holiday who showed up for the parade said this year, more than ever, it is important to celebrate freedom. This brings about a recognition of a struggle of a culture that had been oppressed for many, many years.
Brice talked a bit about the history behind the holiday, and asked what many people have wondered, "What took them so long to get to Galveston?" It was purchased for $800 in 1872 by a group of former enslaved African Americans as a gathering place to celebrate freedom. Decades of collective action would follow as equality and justice for African-Americans advanced slowly, frustratingly, gradually, on our nation's journey toward a more ideal union.
It is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.