Juneteenth celebrated in Scully Park

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[June 25, 2020]     On Friday evening, members of the public and a few local officials gathered together in Scully Park for a celebration honoring Juneteenth in Lincoln.

Juneteenth- also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, or Emancipation Day - is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. The holiday stems from Texas, commemorating the day that Union Army General Gordon Granger gave federal orders in Galveston, Texas, proclaiming that all slaves in Texas were free. This was nearly two-and-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

At the beginning of the night, people were invited to speak to the crowd. Various speakers talked about the importance of being anti-racist, of working towards a more diverse and inclusive community, and of plans for the future to work with city and county officials to bring more voices into existing places of power. People sang songs, and children read poetry by Langston Hughes and essays surrounding important African-American figures.

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A number of small, African-American owned businesses from around central Illinois set up tables. A few people brought grills and shared food.

But beyond all of that, it was a night for celebration, and several speakers mentioned how wonderful it was to see such a diverse crowd come together to celebrate this occasion.

This first-time Lincoln event is expected to become an annual celebration.

[Derek Hurley]


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