Hundreds attend Juneteenth celebration on Farish Street

Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 11:22 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A celebration that started June 19, 1866, is still bringing people together today.

Hundreds are out walking the historic Farish Street, indulging in festivities all centered around celebrating a day of freedom.

Juneteenth, a day that will be celebrated for the first time as a holiday this year, has now become recognized around the world. Juneteenth commemorates the date when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached enslaved people in Galveston, Texas.

“It’s hard to put into words the history behind a group of people not knowing that they had been freed, but it’s such a momentous occasion to know and share that history and celebrate my freedom,” said Geanett Gross, who attended the festival.

And that’s just what people were out doing, celebrating. More than 2,000 people attended today’s Juneteenth on Farish Street festival. The event kicked off with live music and local performers.

Festival goers like Gross say the music of the culture runs deep in her soul.

“It’s in our heritage, we are natural rhythmic people, you know we love to move, and I’m just moving to the music,” said Gross.

Vendors were also set up and selling everything from freshly cut ribs to symbolic and historical Jewelry.

Festival-goers say they were happy to see unity and people honoring their culture and history.

For so long, people have tried to snatch our culture from us,” said Miss Black Mississippi Brianna McField. “Snatch what it really means to be a black person and black person of power. They have tried to tell we are defeated. We are more than conquerors. The sky is the limit and some.”

Organizers of the event say they are glad the world has given this holiday the recognition that was so long overdue.

“I’m excited that the world has caught on now, and it’s appropriate that they are,” said Brad Franklin, event organizer. “So we are going to continue to do what we do and continue to celebrate and hope the people who now know about it will start coming out.”

Organizers say they are already planning for a bigger and better event next year.

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