The 12th Annual Al Edwards Juneteenth Banquet on Tuesday attracted a large crowd to the Old Central Cultural Center in Galveston.
Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas said that she was proud to participate in the celebration. Listen: RealPlayer MP3
"Not some of the slaves, but all of the slaves (were freed); and the institution of slavery as it had existed in this country virtually died here in Galveston, Texas," Thomas said. "As importantly, freedom took deep root here. As a citizen and especially as your mayor, I take pride that this giant step was taken here on Galveston Island."
Samuel Collins, III of Merrill Lynch, a sponsor of the event and owner of historic Stringfellow Orchards in Hitchcock, presented Representative Edwards with a framed copy of this year's official Juneteenth poster, provided compliments of Guidry News Service. Listen: RealPlayer MP3
Collins also announced that he is working to bring Barack Obama to Galveston for the 2009 Juneteenth celebration.
"I think that as the theme is "Come on Home" that he should come to Galveston where it all began," Collins said to loud cheers.
Representative Edwards, interviewed by GuidryNews.com while Carolyn Softly played on the piano, said that he was excited about the celebration. Listen: RealPlayer MP3
"I mix this with along what Obama is doing, and I think about the fact that, where would we be and where would he be had there not been emancipation?" Edwards said.
For GuidryNews.com coverage of Juneteenth and other Freedom Day activities Click Here