By Cris Cawthon
One might think that slavery ended in 1863 after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Truth is, it wasn’t until two years later, on June 19, 1865, that those still enslaved in Galveston, Texas were liberated. That day was celebrated and became known as Juneteenth or Freedom Day.
No one is being blamed today for what happened, but it should be acknowledged and celebrated so that we can move forward together.
On Saturday, Juneteenth was celebrated at Laura Leake park. With a host of vendors, food trucks, games, and music, the community came together.
Malaya Downey, event chair, shared that three pillars were incorporated into this event: Economic development, community development, and fellowship. “The day America ended slavery should make everyone happy. It is an All-American holiday,” says Downey.
Pictured above: Centralia Mayor Bryan Kuder, right, reads the Juneteenth proclamation as Centralia City Councilman Rob Jackson stands at his side.