Locals in Yuma gather to celebrate Juneteenth

As the holiday continues to grow across the country, volunteers at a local event use it as a chance to educate the public – 13 On Your Side’s Luis Lopez reports

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) – The NAACP once again brought the community together for Juneteenth.

Saying it gives locals a chance to celebrate how far black people have come.

One volunteer at a local celebration over at Carver Park, Morris Jones, says it’s a festivity that will only be getting bigger.

“This is a celebration that we’ve been carrying on from generation to generation,” Jones said.

Juneteenth marks the day when all slaves were freed in the United States.

The last slaves in Texas were told they were free two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued…

Making June 19th, 1865 the day everyone in the US was officially free.

“What we try to do, is carry on, like I said that tradition, and celebrate as our ancestors did,” Jones said.

Yuma NAACP has been celebrating the holiday locally for years.

Bringing food, music, and games out for the occasion.

For those involved with the event, it’s a chance to educate locals who don’t know much about the holiday.

“Because they really don’t have much in the city of Yuma for young people and this is to teach them and teach them about their heritage, and teach them that it’s more than one way,” Jones said.

Last year, Juneteenth was officially recognized as a federal holiday.

Meaning the education can continue, and the celebration can keep growing locally.

“It’ll get bigger and better each and every year,” Jones said.

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