Juneteenth Celebration At Brandon Park - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

6/19/08 - Lufkin

Juneteenth Celebration At Brandon Park

To most, June 19th is just another summer day. But to the black community in Lufkin and across the state,it's a day for celebration. People have celebrated in Lufkin for almost two decades by coming together and learning about Juneteenth.

 "Our planning chairman decided to bring the 19th day of june back some 17 plus years ago. So that the kids would know about the 19th of june and the slavery. And what they'd been freed from, cause they knew about the 4th of july," said Ivies Ford with the Friendship Social Group.

Back in 1865, on June 19th, Union soldiers sailed into Galveston Bay and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. That meant freedom for a quarter million slaves living in Texas.

"They need to know the history of the slavery time, because a lot of our parents and forefathers came from the slavery days. We want them to know because they haven't heard that much about it in school. Even some states don't celebrate it," said Ford. 

People in Texas are still celebrating, not only freedom, but the history behind it. Brandon Park was home to today's festivities... Sponsored by the friendship social club.

"Its hard work. At the end of May we get carried away. We know what we are headed for but we just enjoy doing it," said Ford. 

Despite the rain, Reverend Charlie Porter, Jr. and hundreds of others turned out for free food, music and fellowship.

"A real grand day for us black as people," said Porter. "That we are being recognized as who we are right now."

Its not too late to celebrate Juneteenth. Nacogdoches will be holding their festivities this Saturday.  

 A voter registration table was also set up today... So that everyone eligible can help decide this years election. One observer said this year shows how far the black community in America has come.

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