• Juneteenth celebrations in Bainbridge bring neighbor from all walks of life together.
  • Neighbors used the day to commemorate the official end to slavery… Two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Watch the story to heard what those behind bringing the celebration of freedom events to Bainbridge need to make events bigger next year.


“Preserving Black History for the younger generation,” that’s the theme for this year’s Juneteenth celebration.

WTXL reporter AJ Douglas asked neighbors what the symbolic day that celebrates freedom means to them.

“My heritage and my community,” Shelita Close.

That’s what Close said Juneteenth means to her.

She’s one of the neighbors that attended the annual “Juneteenth Jubilee,” Wednesday.

The tradition is hosted by Club 619 and the Phoenix Affaire Group, a grassroots organization.

The idea has grown since the holiday was first federally recognized back in 2021.

President of Phoenix Affaire Group, Betty Fudge-Biggles, said it’s been a journey working to bring Juneteenth events to Bainbridge.

“It started in my yard,” said Biggles.

Within the past four years the celebrations have grown to a series of events where neighbors from all walks of life are invited to learn more about the story behind African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally freed on June 19, 1865.. Two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

“They really don’t know what it is. It’s about preserving the black history for black people coming from younger generations,” according to Biggles

Organizers said they are grateful for the city’s support.

Neighbors gathered on city property to host the celebration.

But they have bigger hopes for the future including financial help and –

“[By] letting us hold different buildings to [host] different meetings,” said Biggles.

Neighbors like Close say she’s grateful for the opportunity to get together.

“I think that it means a lot that the community is embracing racial unity,” said Close.

Organizers said the city could potentially sponsor Juneteenth events as early as 2025 if approved by the city council.