Texas cities mark Juneteenth with parades, family events

Juneteenth is celebrated nationally as a way to commemorate emancipation from slavery in Texas on June 19 in 1865. 152 years ago today in 1865 Union Soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas with news that the civil war had ended and those enslaved were free.

This year was a bit unusual, however, as multiple database searches (including Nexis) appear to show that Donald Trump has never used the word "Juneteenth" before, and his first time out didn't go so well. Co-Chair of Juneteenth, Danielle Williams, says the celebration has moved all around Northwest Arkansas, from a U of A building, to Springdale and back to The Gardens on the U of A campus.

During the late 1970s, Texas state legislator Al Edwards strove to have Juneteenth declared a state holiday. And celebrations today continue as we reflect on opportunities afforded to generation after generation because of the events of that day.

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Juneteenth is a testimony of how an imperfect nation bore the pain of death and division so that the right of liberty might expand its reach.

The festival brings people from across the area to celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation. The day is also called Freedom Day. "People with smiles", said Chambers. Yet many people may not actually know just what the day is, what it celebrates, or why it still matters. "They want to see us succeed".

"I tend to believe African American history is kept in the closet unless it's forced to come out", Bergen County NAACP President Anthony Cureton said in a phone interview.

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"It's an important celebration for African Americans all over the country", said Ursula Davis, a professor at Bergen Community College, as a band played in the background.

"I think everyone should know when, why, and where their freedom was decided and what was decided about their freedom", said Keith Rodgers, founder and CEO of Black on Black Rhyme.

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