What is Juneteenth?
Through music, dance, and fellowship a celebration of freedom rang at Kelly Ingram Park Sunday.
“If we don’t celebrate it and we don’t do anything for it, it would be forgotten and lost,” said participant LaDonna Taylor.
“Gather together in one place so that we can hear the word that we are Free!”
Hundreds joined the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation of Alabama to celebrate Juneteenth also known as Freedom Day.
It was June 19th,1865, the last enslaved people of African descent were set free in Galveston, Texas two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and several months after Congress passed the 13th amendment.
Shaquitta Morrow of Bessemer said she began celebrating Juneteenth three years ago.
“To gain more knowledge about our people. What we went through, what we are still going through,” Morrow said.
This year’s celebration comes amid worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism in America.
Organizer Brenda Paige-Ward encourages African-Americans to commemorate Juneteenth by tracing your heritage.
“Who we are, where we come from, what tribe we were from. I know who I am today. I thank the Lord for that. I’m proud to say I’m a citizen here in the USA, Black, and I know my history,” Paige-Ward said.
More events are scheduled through the remainder of the week.
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