Juneteenth celebration capped off with proclamation

Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 7:36 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 19, 2022 at 10:36 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Juneteenth is a day celebrating the the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865. A year ago, it became a federal holiday. However, in Jonesboro, it’s been celebrated for five years.

KLEK in Jonesboro organized the events for the annual Juneteenth Celebration in Jonesboro. According to Program Director Allie Tabor, the holiday is just as important as any other major holiday.

”It was the first day in our country’s history where everyone was free. It’s important to celebrate that day. It’s as important as celebrating the Fourth of July,” Tabor said.

Despite the heat, there was no shortage of celebration over the weekend. Saturday’s parade drew a large crowd and a Sunday proclamation from Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver -- along with some music and a bubble blowing ceremony -- capped off the celebrations.

The mayor encouraged greater awareness of the holiday and stressed its importance. Tabor echoed the sentiment

“People see it as a Black holiday. And yes, it is a holiday for Black people. But it’s also a holiday for anyone that’s an American. It’s the first time in our country’s history when everyone was free and I think that’s something to celebrate,” Tabor said.

Bernard Cobbs, gospel promoter at KLEK, said awareness is the key to growing the holiday.

His plan is to introduce the holiday to people of all ages through these celebrations, and hopefully the youth will take notice. Eventually, it will become a staple as those youth carry the torch into the future.

”A lot of people don’t know about it yet. A lot of people still have criticisms about it. I think that we can overcome this hurdle. It’s going to be a struggle, but we can overcome it and hopefully we’ll get bigger and better,” Cobb said.

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