San Angelo, Texas — June 19th also known as Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the U.S. and in San Angelo there will be an event commemorating that day. On that day 155 years ago, the last slaves in America learned they were free. Juneteenth celebrations like the one coming up this weekend in San Angelo are all about looking to the future while still remembering the past.
“To let our kids know that, you know our true history that we are free and we were free on this date,” Cherette Cook with the Blackshear Heights Family Committee said.
The importance of remembering and celebrating for Cherette Cook is about teaching younger kids the history of those before them and to bring people together.
“Tt’s important to us to teach our kids because they’re our future so we don’t let them know that in the future, they’re going to be lost,” Cook said. ‘So that’s what we come to do we come to promote positivity togetherness unity of course, you know with our kids and, there’s a brighter future.’
Cook is a part of the Blackshear Heights Family Committee who are hosting the Juneteenth celebration. It all starts on Friday with a meet and greet style event at Mating Luther King park at 7 p.m. Then on Juneteenth, everyone is welcome to join the march that starts on 8th and Mating Luther King drive.
When putting the event together Cook reflected on her childhood and going to these celebrations.
“When Juneteenth came around during the summer, that’s when everybody would come out and you know and people will come from other towns to come to some Angelo’s Juneteenth,” Cook said.
Taking the lead herself for young people and elders is something Cook takes on without complaint.
“If it takes me and handful of others to come together to carry on that tradition that generation after generation then I’m all about it,” Cook said.
Cook says last year the world was swept by COVID-19 and Juneteenth fell at a time during worldwide protests highlighting racial injustice. So, it didn’t look quite the same.
“We had a march, and the San Angelo Police Department came out with us, and they marched with us again from Carver and eighth all the way down to MLK Park, and then we took eight minutes in the street and we kneeled in silence for George Floyd,” Cook said.
This year, Cook just wants everyone to come together to commemorate such an important day.
“I don’t care if you’re tall or short, what color you are, it doesn’t matter you’re welcome to come celebrate with us you know it’s going to be a fun free security enforcement event,” Cook said.