Gainesville city leaders host “Journey to Juneteenth” commemorating freedom of enslaved people with series of events

The first event will be held tomorrow at the Cotton Club Museum at 9 a.m.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 12:56 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -A month-long series of events in the City of Gainesville that celebrate the freedom of enslaved African-Americans starts today.

Music filled the air outside of city hall for the beginning of the “Journey to Juneteenth” celebration.

TRENDING: Unemployment rates fall across North Central Florida

Residents and city leaders were present as Mayor Harvey Ward read the emancipation proclamation that commemorates the freedom of enslaved African-Americans.

“It’s not just about black history because black history is always and will be apart of american history,” said Reverend Milford Griner.

The founder of the Cotton Club Museum, Vivian Filer lead the event with the history of how the holiday came to be.

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation that freed all enslaved people. It wasn’t until two years later on June 19th, that the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were freed.

Filer said would only join the committee if they celebrated Florida history as well. The news reached Florida on May 20th, 1863. So, she believes that calls for its own celebration.

“We need all people to know about it and tell about it not only that,” said Filer. “We can only tell one side. the situation with enslavement didn’t just happen to black people without the surrounding people who did it so it’s a time now that black people would be the only held responsible for telling about it.”

Students with Caring and Sharing Learning School presented and raised the Juneteenth flag.

The first event will be held tomorrow at the Cotton Club Museum at 9 a.m. The city is hosting a plethora of events leading up to June 19th. The list of events can be found on their website.

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.