HOUSTON - The City of Houston kicked off Juneteenth celebrations on Saturday at Emancipation Park. Hundreds of people spent the day celebrating what many refer to as Independence Day for African Americans.
June 19th, 1865, is the date that the last slaves in our nation, located in Galveston, Texas received news from Union Soldiers that they were free.
Juneteenth is all about celebrating how far the African American community has come and recognizing the people who paved the way.
Several keynote speakers took the stage including congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
"When people understand that the celebration of Juneteenth is the celebration of Texas history and the celebration of America's history," said Mayor Turner.
Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday in 2021, but for decades it's been celebrated and recognized in the African American community.
Around 1,000 people of all ages attended Saturday's event.
The event will continue on Sunday the actual day of Juneteenth from 4 to 10 p.m. at Emancipation Park, it is a ticketed event for more information follow this link. Emancipation Park - Emancipation Park Conservancy (epconservancy.org)