Honoring Juneteenth

The city of Grambling will join cities around the country for Juneteenth Celebration. Grambling will begin its celebration Wednesday, June 16 and end on Sunday June 20.Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery. The celebration takes its name from U.S. Army Major General Gordon’s June 19, 1865 proclamation, in Galveston, Texas that the Civil War had ended and all slaves were free.

People reacted in various ways to this news, from pure shock to immediate jubilation and many former slaves felt that leaving the plantation would be their first grasp of freedom.

The memory of June 19, 1865 and festivities to mark the day would serve as a motivation for dealing with, along with release from, the many hardships the former slaves had faced. The celebration was coined “Juneteenth” and grew with the participation from the descendents of former slaves.

“We celebrate Juneteenth as the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas. I believe Juneteenth should be celebrated in all 50 states instead of just 36 because it is a celebration of the heritage of African American slaves who didn’t know anything about the Civil War, so they had no idea they were free from slavery. If it was talked more in Black History Month it might get the recognition or celebrated on the actual date June 19,” said Barbara McIntyre, chairperson for the Juneteenth pageant.

Grambling’s celebration is the longest running in Louisiana. Events last five days, she said.

“We have a list of events from Miss Juneteenth, Car show, softball games, even a block party,” said Darryl Street chairperson of Grambling Juneteenth events.

Street said he wants to bring more revenue to the Grambling community.

For more Juneteenth Celebration information or to buy Juneteenth apparel visit the website at CityofGrambling.com/Juneteenth.