Abilene commemorates 150th Juneteenth holiday

In essence, 3.1 million of 4 million slaves were now freed from their previous bondage.


In 1865, a Union general arrived into Galveston, Texas, and discovered that the residents there were living in a state of denial.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of slavery’s end in 1865, because it was on June 19th of that year, union soldiers were led by Major General Gordon Granger to the South with the news of slavery’s abolishment, two years after the emancipation proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

History notes that people began celebrating pretty quickly, reconnecting with family members and setting up festive barbecue gatherings that were intertwined with prayerful praise. Juneteenth is now recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in 43 states as well as the District of Columbia.

Many people in this country are unfamiliar with Juneteenth, one of the most widely celebrated African American holidays in this country.

The first African American Parade and Family Picnic was held August 5, 2000. “Juneteenth has come to symbolize for many African-Americans what the fourth of July symbolizes for all Americans – freedom”.

On Thursday, the WUSA9 team interviewed tourists visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. The festival will celebrate this event through music, cultural arts and history.

She says that’s what Juneteenth is all about. “I think that’s partly because it is viewed as ‘well, this is an African-American holiday, ’ as opposed as being a meaningful date on the national calendar, which I believe it is”. The Pasco County Veterans Services mobile unit also will be on site.

Garrett said the celebration is for all of Tyler, and everyone is welcome to come out and celebrate.

“We need to realize that it’s not about the violence, it’s not about one person ahead of the other but the fact that we can all communicate together and build bonds for our youth”, president of the Unified Juneteenth commission Latrice Godfrey added. We donate backpacks to local schoolchildren.

“A lot of the stuff that went on, I was too young”, he said.

Michele Miller can be reached at [email protected] or at (727) 869-6251.


The Juneteenth Association of Tyler will host a daylong celebration of Juneteenth, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas.