My family has always celebrated the “Negro Emancipation Day” – that Saturday in June which falls in the middle of the month, commemorating the day on which slaves in Texas were told they were free.
This year, I celebrated Juneteenth by joining with neighbors, parishioners, and fellow clergy in blessing a beautiful new memorial stone donated to us by Andrew Baird, President, Conco Companies. This large stone, made of local marble, lists all those buried in the Berry Cemetery (now consecrated as Holy Resurrection Cemetery) who don’t have headstones. Our cemetery was dedicated in 1875 for the burial of “Slaves, Paupers and Indians,” none of whom could be buried in the town cemetery at the time and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
I also gave a presentation about local African American history and talked about items from the Afro-American Heritage Museum ,