Fayetteville celebrates Juneteenth at the UA
Throughout the year, many holidays and celebrations occur. One of the most influential and historically significant holidays is Juneteenth, which is celebrated even in towns and cities with smaller Black populations, such as Fayetteville, Arkansas.
On June 19th 1865, according to juneteenth.com, “A general by the name of Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with orders to deliver the news of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.” The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves. Facts state that slaves that were located in Texas after the Emancipation Proclamation was written did not find out that they were free until two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was written. Within the two years, freedom spread quickly to different states. Once the slaves found out, they celebrated through prayer services, cookouts, and big gatherings.
And 154 years later, the Juneteenth celebration continues through community gatherings, barbecues, entertainment and games in many cities across the country. In Fayetteville, Arkansas Soul along with many businesses, African American fraternities and sororities, volunteers, and families attended the 21st annual Juneteenth celebration hosted by the University of Arkansas — Fayetteville.
The celebration took place on Saturday June 22, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. This event was both free and open to the public. At the entrance of the celebration, staff members and volunteers welcomed guests and families from different cultures. A bag full of goodies was given to the public sponsored by Tide. Many guests enjoyed a delicious meal with the choice of hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, drinks and chips while enjoying nice entertainment.
Entertainment included the Arkansas Gospel Chorale, Afrique Aya Dance Company, and Musical Headliner- Faye Moffett. The Afrique Aya Dance Company performed by dancing to the beat of African drums. Dancers also inspired the crowd to dance along.
Although lightning, and misting caused some delays to this event, many people endured the inclement weather and continued celebrating.