What is Juneteenth?
“Texans celebrated Juneteenth beginning in 1866, with community-centric events, such as parades, cookouts, prayer gatherings, historical and cultural readings, and musical performances. Over time, communities have developed their own traditions,” the report states.
In 1872, black Texans led by Baptist minister and former slave Rev. Jack Yates raised $1,000 to buy 10 acres of land in Houston that could be dedicated to Juneteenth celebrations and named the location Emancipation Park, according to the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
Today, Rooks said Juneteenth continues to be a day for jubilant celebrations.
“You’ll see people with crowns on their head and they’re Miss Juneteenth and they’ve been voted on and crowned … people have carnival-like atmospheres, block parties, street vendors, it’s very much a celebration.”
Amid nationwide demonstrations against police brutality, Rooks expects 2020’s celebration of Juneteenth will be marked by more protests and a renewed focus on the work that still needs to be done to advance black rights.
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