June 14, 2013 in Features

Juneteenth celebrates history of unity

Annual event marks abolition of slavery

If you go

When: Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: Liberty Park, 1401 E. Newark Ave.

Now in its third year, the 2013 Juneteenth Celebration – set for Saturday in Liberty Park – will feature educational presentations relating to history and culture, music and vocal arts, local vendors and free food.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, effectively bringing an end to slavery.

President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier, but word traveled slowly to Texas. That day in June, which has come to be known as Juneteenth, is still celebrated today and is the oldest-known commemoration of slavery’s abolition.

Juneteenth is officially recognized in 42 states (Washington is one of them), and the Inland Northwest Juneteenth Coalition continues the tradition of keeping that special day in history alive.

Formed in 2011, the INWJC’s mission is to foster an appreciation for African-American history, focusing on peace, unity and understanding within the community. The annual Juneteenth Celebration is a free event designed to bring people together and provide an afternoon of entertainment and good company.

Nathan Weinbender

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