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Published on May 28, 2024
Marietta Square to Honor Freedom's Echo with 20th Annual Juneteenth CelebrationSource: City of Marietta

The Cobb County Branch of the NAACP is gearing up to bring a slice of history to life with the 20th Annual Juneteenth Celebration set to unfold on Marietta Square. The event, which runs from June 14 through June 16, 2024, commemorates a pivotal moment in American history; Juneteenth signifies the day - June 19, 1865 - when Union troops made their way to Galveston, Texas to enforce the liberation of all slaves, over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

Interest in the holiday has surged since Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, an announcement that cemented its place in the national calendar and sparked conversations on race, freedom, and recognition of the past. The celebration in Marietta Square is just one of many events across the country that will mark this significant date, the NAACP anticipates the turnout this year to be among the largest yet, given its growth in prominence and the deeper public engagement with the themes of Juneteenth.

According to an announcement from the City of Marietta, the historic event takes added significance considering the delay of freedom that enslaved Texans endured; Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered two months prior at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, yet it wasn't until the arrival of U.S. General Gordon Granger and his reading of General Orders No. 3 that the institution of slavery would begin to crumble in Texas.

Emphasizing the importance of Juneteenth, the NAACP event will feature a variety of activities and educational opportunities designed to honor the struggles and celebrate the achievements of African Americans. Expect historical reenactments, speeches, and performance arts on display, all of which aim to educate attendees on the historical significance of the day when General Granger's decree echoed through the streets of Galveston, declaring "all slaves are free," according to the City of Marietta. The move, a defining moment, brought the cruel practice of slavery in America to its official end - though the legacy and repercussions of such an institution still echo through the annals of time and into today's continued fight for equality and justice.