Juneteenth Celebration at Stevenson Park
Stevenson Park was filled with a large crowd of individuals that wanted to show brotherly love, solidarity and peace.
Union Army General, Gordon Granger announced federal orders in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, proclaiming that all slaves in Texas were free. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation formally went in effect on January 1, 1863. However, it was a little over 2 years before the news reached Texas.
Sherry Payne, who is a member of the newly formed Juneteenth party, was registering individuals to vote. Sherry said that she was “helping people register to vote, and informing them of their rights.” She said that felons that are no longer on probation could vote. Payne said, “There are people that have not voted in years because they are not informed.”
Ethel Bryant was also at the Juneteenth Celebration. She came out to visit with friends and enjoy a good sandwich. Bryant said she started celebrating Juneteenth when she was 15 or 16.
The atmosphere was peaceful, people were friendly, and there was a degree of social distancing. There were several places to make sure your hands were clean.