NACOGDOCHES,TEXAS (KTRE)- Absolute freedom, an opportunity for equal rights, and the rights of property, was the message the slaves of Galveston, Texas received on June 19, 1865.
It's a message that participants of today's Juneteenth celebration hope that young people will hear. Hugh Perkins, a Juneteenth program participant and assistant principal said, "I think we take these little situations for granted, it's not about the festivities, it's not about the food, it's more so about our ancestors and what they had to endure to get to this point."
The community to came together, young and old, to understand the past, present and the future something the festival organizer believes in.
"I believe that you have to know where you come from to know where you're going so it's good that the young people can come out learn a little bit about history but have fun at the same time, " said Patrick Sanders, who has been organizing the event for the past two years.
There was plenty of good food, family, fun and memories to go around. "In past we celebrated it was more family oriented, we would have our barbeque, watermelon and our sodas and it was on," said Nacogdoches City Commissioner, William Sanders, jokingly.
An upcoming generation of college students knew their role in Saturday's festivities, as they too know the purpose of Juneteenth.
Stephen F. Austin University student, Jonathan Cooks said, "As far as me being a young man, I think it's very good that I'm out here, showing my face and being an example for younger children, young boys, to see that can have a good time instead of being out somewhere else doing something negative."
By the end of the day the message that Juneteenth, is a celebration of freedom and the future is something everyone drove away with.