Juneteenth

Today Access of West Michigan is honoring and celebrating Juneteenth as a paid holiday for all staff. This day is an important day of our history. Juneteenth takes place on June 19 and commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States.
 

“Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance (Juneteenth.com/history).”

To read more about Juneteenth visit Juneteenth.com or check out this article, “What is Juneteenth?” from PBS.org. Here is a reflection from the Equal Justice Initiative on Juneteenth as well: Remembering Juneteenth.
 
Here is a list of several local celebrations here in Grand Rapids:
 
MLK Park, Saturday 11am-3pm
 
MLK Park, Friday, 4-7pm
 
Garfield Park, Saturday 3pm-7pm
 
Friday, 2:30-4:00pm

Starting at Great Giant Supermarket Car Prep & Line up 2:30-3:00pm, route through South Side of Grand Rapids

1226 Madison Ave SE
 
West Michigan Jewels of Africa LLC Freedom Festival: A Community African Drum and Dance Celebration
Dickinson Buffer Park, Friday, 1:00-7:00pm

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