This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Lincoln signed on Jan. 1, 1863, to abolish slavery in rebellious states that had seceded from the Union. Although the order was dependent upon the Union winning the Civil War, it paved the way for an end to slavery in America.
Slaves in Galveston, Texas, finally received the news on June 19, 1865, erupting in spontaneous jubilation and huge celebrations among their communities that became known as Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of African-American freedom in the United States.
Solano County’s Juneteenth Celebration in Vallejo marks its silver anniversary June 15. An immeasurable debt of gratitude is owed to Vallejoans Sue King, Thelma Brown, the late Emma Holmon and others for their vision and dedication as founding officers and members of the Solano County Black Family Reunion Celebration Committee in 1989; when the first Juneteenth Celebration took place. Its purpose was to recognize the historic achievements of African-American families in a community picnic environment open to people of all ethnicities.
The committee received tax exempt 501(c)(3) designation in 1994.
We thank Kaiser Permanente, the city of Vallejo, ValCORE, Comcast Xfinity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Kappa Beta Omega Chapter, The Solano County Chapter of The Links and Vallejo Education Association for pledging sponsor support.
Everyone is invited to enjoy live music, delicious food, kids’ activities, free health screenings, unique gifts by local vendors and helpful information about education opportunities, programs and services for the entire family. Enter the Best of Solano County baking contest and nominate someone for the silver anniversary legacy award at www.vallejojuneteenth.com.
One-hundred-fifty years of freedom. It’s a celebration you should not miss.
Angela Wilson Jones
President, African American Family Reunion Celebration Committee