Juneteenth, a celebration marking the final emancipation of slaves in the United States will be celebrated at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 18 at the Family Youth Community Development Program Center on Crown Street.
Juneteenth refers to June 19, 1865, when the last slaves in the United States were freed, more than two years after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862. With no phones, radios or television, news travelled slowly, and some states, including Texas, were not eager to give up their slaves. But on June 19, 1865, Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston bringing word that the Confederates had surrendered. He then issued the order declaring slaves to be forever free. It was a day of much celebration -- freedom would permit former slaves to travel, choose their own names, legalize their marriages, worship as they saw fit, and learn to read and write.
Gains, however, have come slowly, and social injustice continues to occur. Juneteenth is intended to be a reminder of both the legacy of slavery and the joy and hope of freedom that finally was given back to black Americans when slavery was abolished. It is celebrated in cities across the U.S. In Texas, Juneteenth is a state holiday.
Greencastle's second annual Juneteenth celebration will include food, fellowship, games and music at the FYCDP Center, 605 Crown St. Everyone is welcome.
Fried chicken dinners will be available for purchase.