HOUSTON – Emancipation Park Conservancy hosted a virtual Juneteenth event so despite COVID-19, people can continue to learn about Juneteenth.
Every year, thousands of people flock to Emancipation Park for the annual Juneteenth celebration, but this year, it was quiet.
“Change is good for us because we get a chance to tell the story about Juneteenth all over again through social media platforms,” said Lucy Bremond, Executive Director of the Emancipation Park Conservancy.
People can still stop by the park, relax and appreciate its significance.
“This is the first public park in Houston,” said Bremond.
Emancipation Park was purchased by four people in 1872 to commemorate the end of slavery and provide a place for the annual Juneteenth celebrations.
“They wanted a place to celebrate their freedom and this where it was,” said Bremond.
During segregation, Emancipation Park was the only public park African Americans could use.
It was renovated in 2017 to what it is today.
“I tell everybody this park is beautiful, you need to just come and see for yourself. The arches symbolize freedom,” said Bremond.
From the silver arches to a porch with rocking chairs, everything at the park has meaning.
“Back in the day, slaves sat on a porch where they just kind of cooled off after a long’s days work,” said Bremond.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner made a visit to Emancipation Park on this Juneteenth.
“I have so much pride because it stands for progress and it stands for holding on to our investment that our ancestors made generations ago and it’s still here,” said Turner.
Emancipation Park is the oldest park in Houston and one of the oldest across the state.
“This is a day, that liberates sets people free and quite frankly not just physically, but in many ways, mentally and emotionally, as well,” said Turner.
People can learn more and join the virtual event, by visiting epconservancy.org.