Nacogdoches non-profit hosts Juneteenth celebration to commemorate ending of slavery

Nacogdoches non-profit hosts Juneteenth celebration to commemorate ending of slavery

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) – Celebrations kicked off in East Texas this weekend in commemoration of Juneteenth, which is celebrated every year on June 19.

The Progressive Leadership Group hosted a community-wide Juneteenth celebration in Nacogdoches on Saturday to commemorate the ending of slavery.

Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when 250,000 slaves in the State of Texas learned they had been freed. The announcement was made by the army after union troops arrived in Galveston.

It officially became a federal holiday in 2021.

In Nacogdoches, Juneteenth celebrations started with the EJ Campbell Alumni Association and transferred to the Progressive Leadership Group. This celebration has been going on for over 30 years.

Community member Helena Abdullah said, “I’m hoping that the children, when they come out, see such fun, such community spirit. Everybody’s laughing, talking, having a nice time. I hope that they’ll want to do it every year.”

Vernice Moore is a member of the Community Improvement Program in Nacogdoches. He said he’s been celebrating Juneteenth for as long as he can remember.

“Ever since I was old enough to celebrate it and find out what it meant, not only here in Nacogdoches. I used to live in Dallas, and we celebrated it up there along with some other places I lived,” said Moore.

To him, Juneteenth is an expression of African American heritage.

“What we went through and what we’re going through and what we’re going to do in the future,” said Moore.

Moore said the community needs more people to be interested in Juneteenth and why it’s celebrated.

“It doesn’t mean that much to some people, but I want them to embrace Juneteenth,” said Moore.

He said teaching the younger generation about Juneteenth will help them understand where they come from and where they are going.

“We celebrate Juneteenth because of and for them, and it’s a celebration for them as well as an educational experience for them,” said Moore.

The official Juneteenth holiday will be on Wednesday.

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