Flag Raising to Celebrate Juneteenth

Published 06/19 2014 04:15PM

Updated 06/19 2014 05:17PM

The annual Juneteenth celebration kicked off today with a flag raising ceremony at Binghamton City Hall.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom or Emancipation Day, commemorates the announcement of the end of slavery in Texas on June 19th, 1865.

This year's celebration includes the annual "I Have a Dream" Scholarship Gala, where some local high school seniors will be given college scholarships.

There will also be a community-wide event this Saturday, which will feature a mobile food pantry, contests, a basketball clinic, music, poetry reading and much more.

Councilwoman Lea Webb says that raising the flag at City Hall, which was a stop on the Underground Railroad, gives a greater historical context to the event.

"We believe that when communities really understand their past, they can understand their present and their future. And so it's important that we continue these traditions like Juneteenth that recognize the contributions that African Americans, and all people who are marginalized, make to our community every single day," said Webb.

The community celebration is Saturday from noon until 5 p.m. at Columbus Park in Binghamton.

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