16th annual Juneteenth Western Dance held at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center

16th annual Juneteenth Western Dance held at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The lives of many people changed forever on June 19, 1863 as the state marked the end of slavery.

What’s known as Juneteenth is now the oldest national day of celebration. The Gamma Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha celebrated the special day, hosting its 16th annual Juneteenth Western Dinner Dance and Raffle.

It was a time for people to bring out their sharpest pair of cowboy boots and hats for some good food, music, and dancing, all for a good cause.

"So, 16 years ago, one of our sisters had a unique idea to start a dance,” said Keisha Cook, fund raising chair. “We were trying to see how we could raise some funds our national programs and it started, and we said we would celebrate Juneteenth. Now, Juneteenth is the celebration of when the slaves were freed in Texas."

The freeing of the slaves in Texas came two years later after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

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