Springfield, Ga—on Saturday, June 19, 2021 exactly 156 years ago to the day the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were the last to receive the news that they were free, and had been since January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.
For more than 150 years African Americans have been celebrating Juneteenth in observances that had been under the radar of mainstream media until recent years. As the movement gained more publicity and became more popular organizers and community leaders petitioned Congress to make Juneteenth a recognized holiday. After decades of hard work and struggle, on June 17, 2021 under the Biden Administration Juneteenth became a Federal Holiday and a National Day of Independence.
Effingham County’s second Juneteenth Celebration but was also it’s first as a Federal Holiday. The event was organized and planned by the Effigham County Branch of the NAACP, Springfield Central High School Association Inc, and Effingham Roots.
This year’s Juneteenth, in Effingham, was held at Baker Lake. The lake provided a perfect backdrop to commemorate those souls who had been “bagged, tagged, and dragged [across the waters] to the Americas,” as stated to the large crowd by Servant Emannu’el Branch.