The Morgan County African-American Museum (MCAAM) hosted the annual Juneteenth Celebration last weekend, drawing around 50 people to the museum for an afternoon of music, history, and celebration of freedom.
According to MCAAM Director Cheryl Bland, Juneteenth is an African-American holiday, recognized in 45 states, commemorating news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching the last of the slaves in Texas.
“Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in September of 1862 and to be enacted on January, 1 of 1863, not all the slaves across the country knew about it right away,” said Bland. “So when word finally reached Texas on June 18, 1865, and the last of the slaves were freed, that’s when the celebration began.”
This year’s celebration included performances by TK’s Tru Steppers from Macon, Ga., the Anointed Praise Dancers from Eatonton, Ga., and the Mt. Zion Baptist Church Praise Dancers from Buckhead, Ga. The MCAAM plans to hold a Juneteenth Celebration every year.
“We are already researching ways to make next year’s event bigger and better,” said Bland. “We just want to thank the people for participating and coming out to learn about our history. Some people knew nothing about Juneteenth when they got there, but they learned all about it. We are so grateful to everyone who came and celebrated freedom with us.”