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Community observes Juneteenth in Palm Springs

Several people including Councilmember Brian Hawkins, gathered at James O. Jessie Highland Unity Center in Palm Springs to observe Juneteenth.

Hawkins describing it as a way of brining families back together.

"That day many blacks, you know, were reunited with their families. You know, many blacks during slavery were separated. To me it's like a National Family Reunion healing day," says Hawkins.

The holiday has been observed since the late 1800s.

Juneteenth coordinator, Brian Jackson shares one thing he's noticed as of late.

"Every year the crowds are getting more diverse," says Jackson.

Attendees at Saturday's event shared why they believe it's important to celebrate Juneteenth, year after year.

Jada Dotson says she's, "Looking forward to see people of all ages and all backgrounds coming together and celebrating a day that's meant to celebrate black culture, black people and the ancestors that came before us."

The holiday commemorates the day when union soldiers arrived in Texas, informing enslaved people of their newly found freedom.

This happened in 1865, two years after the emancipation proclamation was issued.

Deiter Crawford, a board member on the Palm Springs Black History Committe says, "Palm Springs is about 4% African American. Sometimes a lot of that history is forgotten or not taught. As well as in our schools and things of that nature. So we just want to make sure that we're educating the community and the youth, as well as a society as a whole."

Juneteenth was officially recognized as a federal holiday in 2021.

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Bianca Ventura

Bianca Ventura joined KESQ News Channel 3 as a reporter in February 2022.
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