16th Annual Juneteenth celebration kicks off in Elmira

16th Annual Juneteenth celebration kicks off in Elmira

Juneteenth is still two days away, but the celebration of this important milestone in Texas history snaked its way across the east side Saturday morning in an energetic parade.

Every year across the country, African Americans and their neighbors in the community celebrate Juneteenth, the day that marked freedom for slaves in Galveston, Texas - June 19, 1865. There are vendors, great food, face painting for the kids, and we're here giving out free Aquafina water and free soft drinks, so it's also great for the community.

The event marks the announcement of the end of the Civil War and enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery in the USA on June 19, 1865.

I first blogged about Juneteenth past year.

The Guam Black Network hosted its Juneteenth Texan BBQ Celebration commemorating the emancipation of slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865, at Gov. Joseph Flores Beach Park on June 17, 2017.

During the late 1970s, Texas state legislator Al Edwards strove to have Juneteenth declared a state holiday.

Today, as we mourn the lack of justice for Philando Castile or read mournfully about the slaying of a black mother at the hands of yet another police force, the historical meaning of Juneteenth takes on an entirely new shade.

Juneteenth is celebrated throughout the nation.

It's an annual event that marks the end of slavery after President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

Through the course of conversation, I found many of my freedom-loving friends had never heard of Juneteenth. We talked to the coordinator of the celebration to discuss the goal of bringing this event to Meridian. "People with smiles", said Chambers. 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. This is me in my official Grand Marshal role for the Juneteenth Atlanta Parade!

"I deal with the youth a lot and the youth is our future", Lane said.

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