GALVESTON – It was a joyful celebration in Galveston on Saturday.
“Juneteenth: This is about us,” Jackson Manuel said.
Hundreds of people packed the Strand for the unveiling of the “Absolute Equality” Mural.
The event featured several guest speakers including Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, who co-authored legislation to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
“Just as I believed that Juneteenth itself offers us a message of hope so might the cooperation of Democrats and Republicans in Congress to actually get something like this done,” Cornyn said.
“I am filled today, equality of rights... emancipation, liberation, and freedom,” U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee said.
The 5,000 square foot mural was developed on the property that overlooks General Gordon Granger’s former headquarters where he read General Order No. 3 on June 19, 1865, sharing the news with Texans that all slaves are free.
“To me, it means I can bring my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren here and the thing that I told them and taught them they can actually stand on what I consider our ground,” Helen Williams said.
Each picture on the mural represents a significant part of history. Reginald Adams is the lead artist and says it’s a great honor to use his art for a much bigger message.
“It’s a little surreal to see literally thousands of people come together to see something you created,” Adams said.