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Celebrating Juneteenth with the Telfair Museum

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:39 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Juneteenth is now a federal holiday and we are seeing more and more events popping up to celebrate the day.

But some people have been celebrating this milestone for a very long time.

Groups gathered at the First African Baptist Church to celebrate the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, but that news took a while to spread to other areas. It took until June 19, 1865 for the union army to arrive in Texas and spread the news that the slaves were finally free.

That is why we celebrate Juneteenth, the day of freedom, on June 19.

“And you have to know your history, you have to know your history because it is important. Freedom everywhere and freedom anywhere is important in terms of people of color who were enslaved and then free and basically enslaved again during segregation here in the city of Savannah where if not for the civil rights movement early on, it would not have been desegregated one full year before the civil right bill was passed by congress,” said Vaughnette Goode-Walker, Juneteenth Curator for Telfair Museum.

Vaughnette Goode-Walker is organizing the Juneteenth celebration at the Telfair, which she has done for the past 15 years.

She points out that event will be inside of the air conditioning but there are so many other ways to celebrate this weekend.

Two events happening at local museums will showcase African American culture and history, with events for the entire community.

The Telfair Museums Jepson Center Juneteenth Free Family Day is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event returns this year with a libation ceremony, drumming and an appearance by the African Spirit at 1 p.m.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the museum will offer hands on art making activities for families as well as artist demonstrations of Gullah Geechee basket making.

Admission is free for all local residents.

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