HENDRY COUNTY- During the Hendry Board of County Commissioners regular meeting on June 8, 2021, Chairman Mitchell Wills read the following proclamation in commemoration of Juneteenth:
“Whereas Juneteenth, or Juneteenth Independence Day, commemorates the traditional observance of the end of slavery in the United States and is observed annually on June 19; and
" Whereas, President Lincoln declared that “in giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free – honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth;” and
"Whereas, on January 1, 1863 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;” and
" Whereas, President Lincoln correctly believed slavery to be in violation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence and that its abolition represented a “new birth of freedom” for the United Sates; and
"Whereas, more than two years would pass before the news reached African Americans living in Texas, when on June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger and his regiment arrived in Galveston and spread the word that slavery had been abolished; and
"Whereas, the following year, the first official Juneteenth celebrations took place in Texas and have continued across the United States throughout the years: and
"Whereas, emancipation in Florida was proclaimed in Tallahassee on May 20, 1864, and for this reason Floridians traditionally celebrate Emancipation Day on May 20; and
"Whereas, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery; and
"Whereas, Juneteenth is an important opportunity to honor the principles of the Declaration of Independence and celebrate the achievements and contributions African Americans have made, and continue to make in Hendry County and across our State and Nation.
"Now, therefore,the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners, Hendry County, Florida, does hereby extend greetings and best wishes to all observing June 19, 2021 as Juneteenth Day. "
The Juneteenth organizing committee, including Janet B. Taylor and Dr. Janet Holmes Peeples, was present during the reading, and the audience applauded the proclamation.
The Juneteenth event will be held at the Harlem Tree Park in Clewiston on Saturday, June 19, 2021.
The parade lineup will begin at 9 a.m. and the parade will begin at 10 a.m. The lineup will be located by K&M Supermarket on Kentucky Avenue. If you have any additional questions, please contact Lavita Holmes at 863-228-2076.
After the parade, at the Harlem Tree Park, guest speakers will take the stage. The list of speakers includes: Director of Center Advancement at Pace Center for Girls, Tekoa Pouerie, Lead Pastor of Tabernacle of Witness Deliverance Church (TWDC), Jeremy Greaves, and owner of K.A.S. Consultancy, Keasha Starks.
Admission to the event is free. It is $50 to be a vendor for the day. There will also be a chance to win a $100 prize for the Best Juneteenth Outfit contest.
There will also be a kickball tournament the following Sunday, June 20, 2021 at the AA Thomas Ball Park, next to the pavilion. Sign ups for teams is currently open.
For more information about these event, Contact Dr. Janet Holmes Peeples at 786-245-1067.