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Juneteenth celebration in Gloucester on Saturday

A coalition of local religious and civic organizations will hold the second annual local celebration of Juneteenth from 5:30-7 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, at the First United Baptist Church, 6188 George Washington Memorial Highway, Gloucester. The event will be held rain or shine outdoors on the church grounds.

The theme of this year’s event is “CommUNITY & Culture…History & Heritage,” said a press release. Among the speakers will be Civil War historian Dr. Wesley Wilson and Bessida Cauthorne White, president and co-founder of the Middle Peninsula African-American Historical and Genealogical Association.

Juneteenth commemorates the day that the last enslaved people in the Confederate states were informed that they had been emancipated, said the release. Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to find Black people still enslaved two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. On June 19, 1865, he proclaimed that they were free. Slavery was aboli...

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