Juneteenth celebration in Sibley Park shares significance of the holiday

Juneteenth celebration in Sibley Park shares significance of the holiday

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – Slavery in the United States ended with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, but not every slave would be free.

Despite the 13th Amendment going into effect, those in places that were still under Confederate control would not know freedom until June 19, 1865. It was on that day that Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, and announced to every enslaved person in the state that they were now free.

At General Sibley Park, a celebration hosted by the Bismarck-Mandan Juneteenth Committee honored African American history, starting with the liberation of enslaved people.

“For us, it’s about lessons: what we can learn from what happened, and just push forward as a community,” said Geraldine Ambe, member of the Bismarck-Mandan Juneteenth Committee.

A variety of speakers shared what they knew about the history of Juneteenth and shared some of the significance it holds for them.

“Juneteenth brings people together, it helps us to revisit our past and revisit our history, and being able to move forward from there and being able to coexist,” said Massa Boure, member of the Bismarck-Mandan Juneteenth Committee.

Organizers say that conversations about the origins of this holiday may be uncomfortable for some people, but they are worth having.

“We can’t go back to fix the past, right? But we have an opportunity to look into the future; create a future for ourselves and our community,” said Ambe.

The Bismarck-Mandan Juneteenth Committee will also be showing a movie regarding the holiday at the Bismarck Public Library.

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