White Hall hosts Lowndes County Juneteenth Celebration

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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Growing up in Lowndes County, Teresa Nettles learned little about the area’s pivotal role in the civil rights movement. That’s why she and other organizers of the Lowndes County Juneteenth Celebration are planning an fun and informative event aimed at honoring the past, celebrating progress and building on the promise of freedom for all.

“In order to empower people, they need to know history,” Nettles said. “To bring in the Juneteenth Celebration will give a little bit of joy. When people are happy, it can spark a little momentum. So, our whole thing was to bring joy that would be worthy of our ancestors, martyrs and the struggle of past generations so the future generations won’t be like me. I was 30 before I found out some of the history of Lowndes County and I was raised there.”

The inaugural Lowndes County Juneteenth Celebration will take place Saturday, June 15 at Freedom Park in White Hall. Complete with food, vendors, a fashion show, an air walk, Juneteenth-inspired bingo, shopping and entertainment, the free event features information tents where attendees can learn more about the history of Juneteenth, Lowndes County’s role in the civil rights movement and how community members can be part of continuing the fight against racism.

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“I think a lot of people, not just in our area but in this country and around the world just don’t know what [Juneteenth] is” said the organization’s Chief of Operations, Brandon Thomas. “People are interested to find out exactly what it is. I think we will have good, informative conversations about what it is.”

Juneteenth became an official U.S. holiday in 2021 to commemorate the events of June 19, 1865, when a Union soldier traveled to Texas to tell a group of enslaved people that they were free. According to Nettles, the Lowndes County celebration of those events was planned in White Hall to empower area residents with the stories of their own history.

“You can’t empower a community, a culture, if they don’t know the history, by teaching that history in love and unity,’ Nettles said. “I don’t believe in empowering a separation. I believe in unity, and I think if we, as a people — not black people, white people, but just people, God’s people — come together and know that we are one, then we won’t have division. Because, if you don’t know your history, you’ll soon repeat it.”

The event begins at 11 a.m. and runs through 6 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and spend the day enjoying all the event has to offer.

Nettles said entertainment includes a DJ, an African dance tutorial and poetry readings. Vendors will include Dimples Frozen Fantasy, Nejomis Shop, Lacia’s Lemonade, Polo Kings, Ky’s Things, Purple Kite Aromatic, Team Me Kreationz and many others.

For more information, follow Lowndes County Juneteenth Celebration on social media.