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Arlington Juneteenth celebrations honor and educate the community on Black history

Juneteenth celebrations in North Texas kick off with multiple events Saturday
Juneteenth celebrations in North Texas kick off with multiple events Saturday 02:26

ARLINGTON – The North Texas region celebrated the upcoming Juneteenth holiday with several events on Saturday. Juneteenth marks the day when slaves in Texas finally learned of their freedom roughly two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

 The sounds of familiar notes filled the Levitt Pavilion as the Arlington community took in the music of their lives.

"I'm looking forward to some good music and fellowshipping with the community, getting some good information, and enjoying a couple food trucks," said Thera Cooper, who attended the event with her friend Tanja Weatherspoon.

"With the music and the food, we know that brings people together. It puts us in an environment where we're all on equal playing fields and we can learn and grow from each other," Weatherspoon said.

The women said that spreading the meaning behind Juneteenth is the important part of the day.

"It brings together a good time to spend with friends and family while learning of the history of Juneteenth and brings a bigger awareness of it," Cooper said.

"Juneteenth means to me community, empowering each other, and doing what's best for us in our community," Weatherspoon said.

The event helped promote local talent, businesses and non-profit organizations. From food trucks to live music, organizers said it was a great opportunity to educate the community about Black history.

"We came to the party, and now we're showing up in a major way. We continue to have a great opportunity to show and make an impact in the community and let people know Juneteenth is not just a holiday. We're talking about impacting the community," said Torey Page, president of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

"I think it's just empowering each other and encouraging each other to strive for success and know that we're here, equality's here, let's promote that, and fight for that because freedom's not free," said Omar Roberson, president of Service 1st Initiatives, Inc.

It was not the only Juneteenth Celebration in Arlington on Saturday; CBS News Texas anchor Nicole Baker served as emcee for a celebration at Live! by Loews in Arlington.

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