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Juneteenth 2011
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Juneteenth in Hitchcock
Guest Column by Samuel Collins, III
Monday, June 13, 2011

It is that time of year again. It is time to celebrate freedom. We have a great weekend of activities planned in Hitchcock to celebrate Juneteenth. Bring your families out and celebrate with us.

The Hitchcock Juneteenth Parade will begin at 10am Saturday June 18th. After the parade there will be a church service at New Macedonia Baptist Church.  After the church service activities will continue at Stringfellow Orchards.

Juneteenth is as important to the African American community as July 4th is to the United States as a country.  It is also a day that ALL Americans celebrate.  Juneteenth is the evolution of our country to the ideals of freedom for all.

America is a very young country and for many descendants of slaves the first chapter of the country’s history is dark, cold and very painful. The unintended consequences to our country because of slavery can still be felt today.

This year marks 150 years since the Civil War began and for the enslaved men, women and children of America it was the beginning of the end. The next four years will be an opportunity for society to have an open discussion about America, the Civil War and Slavery.

Any discussion about the Civil War would have to include the discussion of Galveston and Juneteenth. The Civil War ended on April 9, 1865, but slavery did not end in Texas that day. Slavery did not end in Texas until the Union soldiers took over Galveston and announced the end of slavery on June 19, 1865.

Each year our Juneteenth program in Hitchcock tries to be educational and entertaining.  We have a great program lined up this year. My wife Doris and I wanted to add two new things to the program this year.  We wanted children to get moving to get healthy.  We also wanted to give out free books to stress the importance of reading.
We will have at least two 30 minute “Let’s Move” sessions. We will have line dances and other activities to get our children moving and healthy. We will also have three 15 minute drop everything and read sessions. We have over 300 books donated that will be given out free.
We would like to thank SMART Family Literacy and Liz Turner for donating 300 books for the children of Galveston County.  SMART Family Literacy is making a big difference in the lives of children throughout the county.
While our country no longer locks people in chains, many impoverished individuals and families are locked in generational poverty. One of the keys to unlock the chains of poverty is education.
Another special feature this weekend is the addition of the Galveston County premier of the documentary “The New Juneteenth” by Isaac Fanuiel.  The screening will be Friday June 17th at 7pm.  Showtime is 8pm and runtime is 60 mins.    

Admission is $10 and each person with paid admission will get a DVD copy of the documentary.

Happy Juneteenth!

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