The festival has moved far from its Southern roots and is celebrated across the nation. In the country, it comes in as the third-largest. Celebrations in the early part of the 20th century drew thousands of people to Taborian Park, which is now part of Baylor University, newspaper accounts from the time show. 152 years later, Northwest Arkansas is celebrating Juneteenth for the 19th year.
The 2017 winners, Little Miss Juneteenth Eriana Morton and Miss Juneteenth Bria Smith will also be in the Juneteenth Day parade from 19th & Atkinson to Martin Luther King Drive beginning at 9 a.m.
The 16th Annual Juneteenth celebration kicked off today at Ernie Davis Park in Elmira.
There are national holidays that go by without much fanfare every year - think Flag Day, for example - and national holidays that are now rightfully questioned - namely, Columbus Day, which has now become hotly contested in many states.
"I found it very empowering to be going to a historically black college", she said. In the center is the splash pad where children are gathered. A lot of our black business professionals are not in the military. "We're a black professionals network, but we're inviting everyone, the whole island, to join us for these events", Holloway said.
"That kind of shocked me", Holloway said. "This is such a critical event that takes place, it's about the African-American heritage, our culture". He wants his son to experience and learn about their heritage. Addae Moon, director of the Museum Theater at the Atlanta History Center, recently told radio station WABE in Atlanta that research suggests enslaved Africans in Texas had learned of emancipation prior to June 19, 1865. Yet many people may not actually know just what the day is, what it celebrates, or why it still matters.
But as we remember the strength of our ancestors and celebrate the end of slavery, we also acknowledge the inescapable legacy of racism and discrimination slavery that still lingers in our society.
Paulk's post commander, Paulette Woods, added a sentiment shared by many of her generation: "Young folk don't know their history".
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