MACON, Georgia — More than a century ago in Texas, June 19th, 1865 became known as Juneteenth. That is the day slavery was abolished in the state after the end of the Civil War.
Over time, Juneteenth celebrations spread from Texas to around the country, and all this week organizers are hosting events to remember the rich African-American history of Macon-Bibb County.
"I wanted to come down here and listen to Mister Muhammad, because I do not think anybody can tell the history of this town," Seth Clark said.
Clark says he's hoping to learn more about Black history in Central Georgia.
"I do not think that I know enough about it," Clark said.
Clark plans to boost his knowledge with a Black History Tour of the county.
"We will be going through downtown Macon, tremendously historic," Clark said.
Organizer George Muhammad says the tour is just a small part of the Juneteenth celebration.
"When we were freed in 1865, when freedom came to black people in the United States," Muhammad said.
Muhammad says Texas helped pave the way for the celebration of freedom for slaves across the south.
"We commemorate the struggle, survival, and responsibility that we have," Muhammad said.
This week organizers will revisit history with a 'Movies in the Hood' series and a mental health forum.
"And the Juneteenth Freedom Festival is the culmination on Saturday at Tattnall Square Park where Macon was surrendered to the Union troops," Muhammad said.
Clark says he will be there to not only learn but hopefully start a conversation.
"If we do not tell the truth... I think we are destined to do it again," Clark said.
Torchlight Academy and the Kwanza Cultural Access Center are hosting the events going on this week. Here's a break down of the remaining events this month:
Friday, June 14: Forum on the Soul, Spirit, and Mental Health (A Holistic Approach to Healing Illness and Suicide in the Black Community)
- 6 p.m. at the Frank Johnson Center
- Entry is FREE
- Call 478-978-5865 or 478-960-9758 for more information
Saturday, June 15: 27th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival
- Featuring living history exhibits, live music and dance, a tribute to historic Macon churches, vendors, and much more
- 1 - 9:30 p.m. at Tattnall Square Park
- Entry is FREE
- Call 478-718-8067 for more information
June 10 - 13:
Black History Macon Van Tours
- 10 to 11:30 a.m., starting at Terminal Station
- FREE, but donations are accepted
- Call 478-718-8067 to reserve a tour
Movies in the Hood Series
-Starting at 6 p.m., featuring opening act poets and musicians, FREE with light refreshments
- Monday, June 10 at the Rosa Jackson Center
- Tuesday, June 11 at the Frank Johnson Center
- Wednesday, June 12 at L.H. Williams Center
- Thursday, June 13 at Bloomfield Park
- Friday, June 14 at Memorial Gym Center