COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - People across the country and in Columbus are celebrated Juneteenth Friday, which is also known Black Independence Day.
June 19,1865 marks the day that slaves in Texas learned of the freedom from Union Officer General Gordon Granger. This was two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
“Of course we celebrate July 4th as the American Independence Day, but this is African American Independence Day because of when those slaves in Texas did not know they had been freed two year earlier,” said Marvin Broadwater.
The executive director of the Liberty Theater, Dr. Shae Anderson, said it’s a step in the right direction if everyone in the community celebrates it too.
“The reality is racism will likely always exist in some form or another, but I think this is one of the many ways we can kind of start to maybe build some bridges and have some more uncomfortable conversations about some of the things that are still happening in our communities across the world,” said Anderson.
One Columbus woman said she recently learned about Juneteenth. Now, she’s celebrating with great excitement and anticipation to teach her own children about their African American history.
“I want them to know about what our ancestors went through and now that we can celebrate, let’s celebrate our blackness. Let’s celebrate solidarity, let’s celebrate everything that comes with being black. Just the beauty, the education, the strength that we have had for so many generations,” said Dr. Tracey Hollis.
The Liberty Theater in Columbus is having an Independence Day rhythm, rising, and breakfast celebration Saturday, June 20. Click here for more details about the event.