(Forsyth County, GA) Crowds gathered at the Forsyth County YMCA on Monday evening for the county’s first-ever Juneteenth celebration. Families visited food trucks and local vendors, kids played on inflatables, and everyone enjoyed live music as they learned more about the holiday’s history.
Dr. Lauren Johnson, the Assistant Dean of the UNG College of Education, spoke at the event about the history of Juneteenth. Officially named a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth commemorates the day when federal troops landed in Galveston in 1865 to ensure that people who were still enslaved were freed.
Though this date was two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, news spread slowly, and around 250,000 people in Texas were still slaves. The 13th Amendment, which formally abolished slavery, was adopted in December of the same year. However, for many in the African-American community, the celebration of Juneteenth honors the official end of slavery in the United States.
The event was sponsored by Georgia Power, Lou Sobh Kia, and Spalding Injury Law. Many of the vendors were minority-owned businesses such as Auntie Kim’s Pound Cakes, Seizor Studios, and Atlanta Family Doulas.
“It’s an honor to host the county’s first Juneteenth celebration,” said Alex Holloman, the Why It Matters and Social Impact Committee Chairman at the Y.
“For all who came to join us in raising awareness of Juneteenth’s significance, being part of the reckoning with our shared national history and pursuing the opportunities for a stronger community, based in a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, WE THANK YOU!” posted the Forsyth County YMCA on their Facebook page.
Next year, a larger celebration is already planned for the FoCAL Center.
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