Following the end of the Civil War, black slaves in Texas were finally freed on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas, a day that has since become know as Juneteenth.
The Newton County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples hosted its first Juneteenth celebration Saturday at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Covington, with prayer, dance, music and a message from Georgia Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta).
The young Cross-steppers for Christ from Mt. Zion AME Church in Mansfield performed an interpretive dance, followed by a musical performance from Eatonton's True Spiritual Gospel Singers.
According to the NAACP, Juneteenth serves to promote and cultivate knowledge and appreciation of the African American history and culture, and is the black community's independence day.