Juneteenth festival celebrates abolition of slavery

Events planned to celebrate freedom and equal rights

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter
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JACKSONVILLE - It's known as Freedom day and Emancipation day. An upcoming holiday that celebrates the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865.

"June 19, 1865 is a holiday or observance in many US states to celebrate the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19th. It's the last day 250,000 slaves were freed in Galveston," said Aleta Toure who works with the Southern Freedom Movement.

Juneteenth celebrates not only freedom and equal rights, but it is a also an example in promoting the encouragement of self-development and respect for all cultures in the United States.

"Juneteenth is the oldest celebration that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and we have several activities planned here in Jacksonville," said Toure.

Organizers will start the Juneteenth celebration near the Riverside Arts market. They are planning on singing songs, telling historical stories, and listening to music that embodies the end of this era of American history.

"We will have an opening ceremony, followed by cake walks, performances and hand clapping activities. This will be a family friendly event for people of all nationalities including holla hoop contests, old school dance contests, and a movie entitled "Daughters of the Dust". You can even come out an double dutch jump rope," said Toure.

The festival begins at 2pm on June 19, 2013

"Celebrating the Juneteenth holiday is the same as celebrating a holiday just as important as the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. For without the end of slavery, justice in the United States would not be possible," said Toure.

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