Freedom Party

Everybody knows that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Less well known is the fact that in many places, it took more than two years for Lincoln’s message to make a difference.

On June 19, 1865 (30 months after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed), the Union finally got around to taking over Texas and notifying the state’s quarter of a million slaves that they were free. Jubilation ensued, and the day came to be known as “Juneteenth,” the African-American community’s own version of Independence Day.

The jubilation continues at the Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom at South Mountain Community College. The free event, hosted by the Arizona Informant, features live music, storytelling, poetry, step teams, food, raffles and children’s activities.

Sat., June 18, 5-10 p.m., 2011
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Deborah H. Sussman