PALATKA, Fla. — It’s a federal holiday now and celebrated across the country. Juneteenth or June 19th is this upcoming weekend.
It’s the day the final enslaved African Americans were freed in Texas, back in 1865. Locally, cities are planning events to commemorate the day.
A Palatka organizer tells First Coast News she hopes more people will educate themselves on the day.
“June 19, 1865, I can just think about those who are rejoicing, celebrating, and I’m free, my God, I’m free,” said La’Farrah Davis, Organizer of Palatka Juneteenth Celebrations.
A woman named Opal Lee made it her mission to get the day recognized as a national holiday. At 94 years old, she marched the streets of Texas until it was so.
“I’m really a little old lady in tennis shoes getting in everybody’s business and I’m having a good time doing it,” said Lee.
Here in Northeast Florida, there will be many celebrations for Juneteenth.
La’Farrah Davis is hosting a two-day business fair and pageant starting Saturday.
“I have so many mixed emotions, I do feel empowered, I feel outstanding, I feel phenomenal because this event as a Black, African American, I feel like I’m standing on the shoulders of my ancestors,” said Davis.
Davis says she wanted to organize the events in Palatka in hopes of educating more people.
“I’m thinking about unity, bringing everybody together to celebrate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans,” said Davis.
This weekend’s events in Palatka begin Saturday, June 18 with a business fair at Palatka High School at 12 p.m.
The Mister and Miss Juneteenth Scholarship Pageant with be held on Sunday, June 19 at 5 p.m at 302 Mellon Road, Palatka.
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