Juneteenth celebrates the day that Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed the inhabitants there about the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves. This was two and a half years after the proclamation was officially signed by President Lincoln.
“Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery,” explains Juneteenth Rock Hill President Tamika Poag. Juneteenth has been celebrated in Rock Hill for several years and, even with a pandemic sweeping the nation, the Juneteenth Rock Hill committee decided that this year would be no exception.
Seberina Myles, the Juneteenth Rock Hill secretary, explains how they decided to have a digital celebration. She says, “When we found out that we would not be able to have the typical celebration that we have been doing at Fountain Park and at Mount Prospect Baptist Church, we had a Zoom meeting and the board members brainstormed. I think Dana was our member who said, ‘let’s do a virtual celebration.’” She continues, “We didn’t want to not do anything because so many people already don’t know what it is and don’t celebrate it. We have been trying to bring an awareness, so we didn’t want 2020 to go by and us not celebrate Juneteenth.”
The celebration is being held at 7:00 p.m. on June 19 on Facebook and Instagram Live.