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Families gather to celebrate Juneteenth in Baton Rouge

11 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Sunday, June 18 2023 Jun 18, 2023 June 18, 2023 3:17 PM June 18, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Dozens of families showed up Saturday afternoon at Gus Young BREC Park, excited for live music and food.

The celebration was in honor of Juneteenth, which is Monday.

"It's very important event. It's a celebration of Black history, and I wanted to expose my grandson to it," one woman said.

Juneteenth commemorates the official abolition of slavery after the Civil War. On Jan. 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation freed all enslaved people. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and delivered the news of freedom to the last slaves. 

"It means a lot. It's when African Americans became free," Narkeisha Knighton said.

"It means freedom to us, and I also enjoy seeing all of my neighbors that I haven't seen in years," Mary Jackson said with a plateful of hot seafood on her lap. 

Families and friends gathered on picnic tables, under dense trees. Despite the sun beating down, festival goers stayed cool and fed with sno-balls and crawfish. 

"I tasted the crawfish, it's good," Sonia Cook said.

For the families that came out, Juneteenth will continue to be a holiday that's celebrated together.

"I definitely make sure I come every year," Mary Jackson said. "I look forward to it."

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