Orlando community learns, celebrates Juneteenth traditions

Orlando community learns, celebrates Juneteenth traditions

ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s a day of celebration and a time to honor history.

“I’ve always told my kids about Juneteenth. Now I’m happy that more awareness of Juneteenth is going on,” said April Smith.

June 19, 1865 marked the day Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas told the last enslaved African Americans they were free.

“Even though Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, people did not know they were free. President Abraham Lincoln sent soldiers on horseback riding throughout the south reading the emancipation proclamation,” said State Senator Geraldine Thompson.

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Saturday, dozens at Camping World Stadium ate food, danced to music and learned more about the holiday.

“What we do here is to focus on the history of African American people. It started with our arrival here in the 1600s all the way to the where we are now,” Thompson said.

Thompson has organized events celebrating the day of history over the past 30 years.

She said it’s important to celebrate and educate people about this day, so they can understand how our history connects us.

“That is the difference, some people can party, but we want a purpose. That purpose is sharing the history,” Thompson said.

There are several more events happening in the area to celebrate Juneteenth. You can find them here.

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