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Posted: June 14, 2012 7:35 p.m.

Freedom Celebration

We thought we knew most of the holidays that occur in this country.

However, there's a popular holiday many people haven't heard of, despite the fact it's an official holiday in 41 states, including Georgia.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is one of the most important holidays in the African-American culture, stemming from the freeing of the slaves in Galveston, Texas in 1865.

The term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, because Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was first read in Galveston on that day by a Union general, despite the fact Lincoln had uttered the proclamation two years before.

Today, the holiday not only celebrates freedom, but also the achievement that future generations have made.

We'd like to offer a special thanks to local resident Terri James, who made a concerted effort this year to bring this holiday more awareness.

Ms. James is organizing an all-day celebration this Saturday at Under the Stars banquet in Oxford. The first segment is from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. and will feature family fun activities, while the second segment will begin anew at 9 p.m. and continue until 2 a.m., featuring Motown-themed musicians.

For more information about the local event, or Juneteenth's history, visit covnews.com and read the story "Local residents to celebrate freedom." Historic black church Bethlehem Baptist also has an annual Juneteenth celebration.
For those celebrating this weekend or next week, we wish you a happy Juneteenth.

 

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