Juneteenth program marks end of slavery

Published 7:32 pm Wednesday, June 15, 2016

By SAMANTHA BOLDEN | The Selma Times-Journal

A program Saturday will mark the end of slavery more than 150 years ago.

The annual “Juneteenth” program will be Saturday afternoon at the Civil Rights Memorial Park, which is at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

The program will begin at 4 p.m. with a program of remembrance and celebration.

“Our people know so little about their own freedom, and that’s why we do Juneteenth,” said attorney Rose Sanders, who is also coordinating the event.

This year marks the 152nd anniversary of the end of slavery.

The Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, celebration remembers June 19, 1865, when the last U.S. slaves were set free in Galveston, Texas.

“We are in denial about slavery,” Sanders said. “When you believe something isn’t so bad, you won’t understand the impact that it’s had on us.”

During the event, there will be a “Ceremony of Remembrance” for Maafa at 4 p.m. Maafa is a Swahili term that means tragedy or disaster and is used to describe the oppression of African people during slavery.

At 4:30 p.m., there will be a “Celebration of Freedom” to come together in unity to honor those who died to help make the end of slavery happen.

The free event will include speakers, food, praise dancing and music.