Juneteenth Festival To Be Held

Lester White
Lester White

Community altruist and gospel icon Lester Lec’k White will be among this year’s honorees at the annual Juneteenth Festival, a celebration of emancipation from bondage to be held on Saturday, June 29, 2013 in the historic Wells Park located at 38th and Montgomery Sts. This event depicts “a breath of fresh air” as well as a “new beginning for hundreds of American slaves.

The appearance for Lester will mark his official return to the public platform sincea3yearsabbaticalleave. Subsequent to his mother’s death, Sarah L. White in 2008, Lester fulfilled a year and a half of public commitments and then took time off to reflect. His connection to community service continued through his Stellar Music Award winning gospel show on E93.

Others to be recognized at the festival are Beach High School Coach Ronald Booker, community activist Brunette Mitchell-Dixon, educator/author Brenda Roberts and Soulful Riders’ Mr. Chico.

Along with catered food and outdoor games provided by the City of Savannah, entertainers will include Globetrotters Larry “Gator” Rivers, FlauJae (the late rapper Camoflauge’s 9 year old daughter), the Juneteenth and SSU bands, E-93 radio and Atlanta’s Ra-Srech. The entire community is encouraged to attend. This family oriented gathering is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Daughters of Magdalene, a community non-profit group.

This historic event celebrates Freedom Day (or Emancipation Day), and commemorates the 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, the last state to do so.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers sailed into Galveston, Texas, announced the end of the Civil War, and read aloud a general order freeing the quarter-million slaves residing in the state. It’s likely that none of them had any idea that they had actually been freed more than two years before. It was truly a day of mass emancipation. It has become known as Juneteenth.

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