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Juneteenth celebration Saturday
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The Newton County NAACP will stage its inaugural Juneteeneth celebration at 5 p.m. Saturday at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 2177 Usher St. in Covington.

The event will be focused around the theme, "Lest We Forget...", and the speaker will be Georgia Rep. Tyrone Brooks.

Guest performers at the event are the Cross-steppers for Christ from Mt. Zion AME Church of Mansfield and the True Spiritual Gospel Singers from Eatonton.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, according to a release. It was on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, that the enslaved were set free; two years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth has been celebrated in many forms in communities all across the nation. It serves as the Independence Day for blacks in America..

Today, Juneteenth serves to promote and cultivate knowledge and appreciation of the African American history and culture, as well as celebrate African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.