Galveston Island on Saturday will celebrate Juneteenth, the commemoration of the day in 1865 that Texas slaves learned that they had been freed by President Abraham Lincoln when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. The action freed the slaves in those Confederate states currently at war with the United States. Because of the war, the news was not delivered to Texas until almost two years later.
“Juneteenth is a day of reflection, a day of renewal, a pride-filled day,” said Ennis Williams, Juneteenth Coalition member. “It is a moment in time taken to appreciate the African American experience.”
Saturday, June 19, the official day of Juneteenth, will begin at Rosenberg Library with a prayer reading and Juneteenth Flag raising ceremony by the Reverend Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., founder and chair of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign.
Following the flag ceremony, the Emancipation Proclamation reading and prayer breakfast will be held at Ashton Villa to commemorate the historic event that occurred in Galveston, two years after it was enacted in 1863.
"The Al Edwards’ Ashton Villa celebration is the longest and continuous Juneteenth celebration on Galveston Island," said Douglas Matthews, chair of the State Juneteenth Advisory Committee.
"And the event is free and open to the public."
A Jubilee parade and picnic continue the special events at Wright Cuney Park, 41st Street and Ball Avenue.
Galveston’s Juneteenth celebration concludes with a Galveston Gathering picnic on Sunday, June 20 at Kempner Park, 27th St. and Avenue O.
Although Juneteenth is a special day in Galveston's history, it is now celebrated in communities world-wide.
In Hitchcock the 5th Annual Juneteenth Stringfellow Orchards Family Day will be held on the property is owned by Sam and Doris Collins.
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