Slavery in America effectively ended on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas. Today, Juneteenth is the nation’s “longest-running African American holiday,” and YWCA Central Alabama will commemorate it by joining in Alabama’s celebration on June 19 at Birmingham’s Kelly Ingram Park.
We’re inviting YWCA Central Alabama supporters to volunteer to wear their YWCA persimmon and come help decorate and walk alongside our vehicle in the parade. We’ll also have a booth with free water at the free event that starts with a 9 a.m. parade and concludes with a community celebration in the park that starts at 10:30 a.m. There will be food, educational programs, games, music, entertainment, and other vendors.
Juneteenth, a meld of “June nineteenth,” marks a pivotal moment in the history of Americans whose ancestors were enslaved and later freed with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth observes the last march of troops two years after that signing to free the slaves still in bondage in Texas. It is not yet a national holiday, but a Change.org petition to make it one has gained 1.6 million signatures.
The theme for the local Juneteenth festival and parade is Prosperity Now.
If you would like to volunteer to participate in the parade or hand out water and literature at the festival, please contact Denise Berkhalter.