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Juneteenth Celebration held in Minden

by Minden Press-Herald

On the evening of Saturday, June 22 on Martin Luther King Drive, the citizens of Minden gathered to celebrate Juneteenth. While only becoming a federal holiday a few years ago, Minden was quick to adopt celebrations for the holiday the same year and have held them ever since. 

Juneteenth as a holiday recognizes the day on June 19, 1865 when thousands of African Americans were given their long-due freedom. “On June 19, 1865, nearly two years after President Abraham Lincoln emancipated enslaved Africans in America, Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, with news of freedom. More than 250,000 African Americans embraced freedom by executive decree in what became known as Juneteenth or Freedom Day. With the principles of self-determination, citizenship, and democracy magnifying their hopes and dreams, those Texans held fast to the promise of true liberty for all,” read an excerpt on Juneteenth from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

“Today, Juneteenth celebrates African American resilience and achievement while aiding in the preservation of those historical narratives that promoted racial and personal advancement since Freedom Day.”

As is years past, this Juneteenth was also officially recognized by the City of Minden with Mayor Nick Cox attending the event and reading a proclamation officially declaring June 19, 2024 in Minden as Juneteenth. 

“Juneteenth symbolizes freedom, the end of slavery, and the enduring pursuit of

equality and justice for all, celebrating African American culture, heritage, and contributions to our nation; and whereas, the City of Minden recognizes the importance of reflecting on its citizens’ shared history, acknowledging the struggles and achievements of African Americans, and fostering a spirit of unity and understanding among its citizens; and whereas, Juneteenth provides an opportunity for the citizens of Minden to engage in educational and cultural activities, to remember the past, and to work towards a more inclusive and equitable future,” said Mayor Cox. 

Michael Walker, the organizer for this year’s Juneteenth event, stated that this year’s event was a great success, seeing as many as 300 attendees come out to support the event. 

“Let me start out by thanking the citizens of Minden for showing up and supporting this event. I had a great team that helped put this all together. It started out slow but as the sun went people came from all over. This year was 100 percent better than last year. We had vendors with something for everyone and jump houses for the kids. We made sure everyone stayed hydrated and we gave out plenty of water. We added a fireworks show this year and it was great. I love my city. Like I always say, we are a small town with a big heart. I can’t leave out my wife, Chequella, who people never see out front but she works behind the scenes with everything I do. Again, thank you Minden!” said Walker.

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