Juneteenth Parade

by Christa Lollis

Hundreds of East Texans marched the streets of Nacogdoches this afternoon to honor the history of their culture. "It's a day that Abraham Lincoln freed us from our slavery and it was in the year of 1865 and the emancipation proclamation. He wrote a letter to the president to free us and he didn't free us until 10 years later and it was the 13th amendment," Myria Harris explained.

The African American community here says it was that brave action that made this country what it is today. A local church that participated in today's parade wants to make sure today's generation understands why this holiday is so important to their culture. "These young people, we want to make sure they never forget the struggles that we had to come to enjoy the liberty and the freedom that we have today and we just want to make sure that everybody knows that we have something to celebrate," local pastor S. Keith Warner said.

For some, the celebration hits close to home. Harris says, "My grandma was a slave herself so I really understand why we celebrate this day and this celebration of Juneteenth." And for pastor warner, who's family members were also slaves, the message he's sending his son is of overcoming all obstacles. "I want to make sure he understands that our people have a rich history and it's not all good that we did have some bad in our history. We did rise from that and because we were able to rise from it they have now the opportunity to even be president if they want."