Juneteenth, commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America. Although Slavery had ended in 1865, many African Americans were unaware that the emancipation proclamation had been finalized. It took two years for the message to make it way around the nation. Since the 1865 announcement African Americans throughout the country celebrated the occasion with events to commemorate the emancipation of slavery and discussion of the long term affect of racism that has plagued America for centuries.
Continuing the Juneteenth legacy celebration, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation Inc., recently held their 7th Annual Juneteenth celebration at the Ritz Theatre and Museum. The spirit of the Juneteenth emancipation was re-energized through song, dance, music, and spoken word combined with storytelling of the womb to tomb development and the value of Africa’s rich and unique heritage story. “It is incumbent that we must teach our young people to accept your own and be yourself. We know through our experiences the public or private schools are not going to teach our children the truth about themselves. That responsibility is ours and therefore it is our duty and we must continue to demand change,” said Andre X. The surrounding community attended the event to support the foundations ideals, desires and wishes to continue the legacy of Dr. King and ensure African ancestors are proud of their offspring. Culminating the event was storytelling and readings of books that teach African culture through the past, present and future traditions.