July 19th, 1865, marked an important date in American history. The Emancipation Proclamation had already declared slaves free years earlier, but it took a while before the proclamation was enforced in every town in the country. Galveston, Texas, was the last city to hold out, but on July 19, Union Gen. Gordon Granger went there and enforced it. The following year, on July 19, former slaves in Galveston celebrated their freedom. The day has since been known as Juneteenth and is commemorated all over the country every year. San Jose's big Juneteenth celebration features food, lectures and live entertainment. Sunday’s headliner is R&B/soul singer Chrisette Michele, who won a Grammy in 2009 for her song "Be OK."
The San Jose Festival in conjunction with other organizations is a weeklong celebration that includes the following activities:
* Juneteenth Festival in the Park
* Gospel Concert
* Education Conference
* Basketball Tournament
* Health Awareness Seminar
* Economic Empowerment Conference
If there was ever a cause for celebration this is definitely one of the most imporatant to take part in, the event is made possible by the efforts of the African American Community Service Agency and their generous sponsors.
"The AACSA is a non-profit organization founded in 1978. Since 1979, it has been centrally located in San Jose at 6th and Julian Street. To best respond to the needs of the African American community, we administer varied programs geared to youth, seniors, and the general community. The programs include: Inez Jackson Research Library, Youth Summer Day Camp and Development Activities, Sunday Homeless Breakfast (in collaboration with the Korean Baptist Church), Holiday Luncheon for Seniors and Christmas Toys for tots and many others."http://www.bayareajuneteenth.org/