Many people have only learned about Juneteenth in recent years. Unfortunately, many more are not aware of the significance of this day or what it means to our entire society. On June 19, 1865, Major Gen. Gordon Granger came to Galveston, Texas, to inform the community that President Abraham Lincoln two years earlier had freed slaves. Today, Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated on June 19 that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
While this was a monumental event, the proclamation made didn't reach Texas until two years after it was made. This proclamation affected the slave and the slave master. This involved an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” —General Orders, Number 3; Headquarters District of Texas, Galveston, June 19, 1865
The Statesville Juneteenth celebration started in 1995. Much of the celebration started as a result of African American's desire to spread the word about Juneteenth and educate the community about it's rich history and it's impact on society today. A group of men in Statesville joined together and formed a group by the name of I.M.P.A.C.T. which is an acronym for Iredell Men Preparing Appropriately for Community Transformation. Much of the group including Seifullah El-Amin, and Kenneth Walker, still serve on this committee. It has evolved over time and the celebrations have included parades, block parties, festivals, and more.
Black people across the country celebrate Juneteenth (a portmanteau of the words “June” and “nineteenth”) to remember their history, celebrate their freedom, and renew the fight for their rights today. Since Juneteenth has become a national federal holiday, another historical event, diversity and inclusion has become more important than ever. Every person celebrating Juneteenth often feel a sense of duty to not only educate African Americans, but all people. Skip McCall, a part of the original and current board, stated "we are of one race, and that is the human race". Help us celebrate and educate every year as we all continue to fight the fight of liberty and justice for all!
If you are interested in volunteering on the Juneteenth board, please complete the form below and someone will be in touch.
2023 Celebration Photos