Camden celebrates Juneteenth
A crowd gathered at Betty Anderson’s Old Shoe Shop Museum in downtown Camden to celebrate Juneteenth on June 19.
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States with events held across the nation on June 19.
The celebration in Camden was the third year of this local family friendly and educational Juneteenth event. A large crowd gather for festivities that included music, guest speakers and food.
Participant Sheryll Threadgill said, “This year’s Juneteenth was significant for the Wilcox County community. It was not only a celebration of the end of slavery, but it was also a show of unity across racial and general lines. I hope that this will be the beginning of increased dialogue, cultural sharing, understanding and racial reconciliation.”
Anderson agreed, saying she believed this third year of the local observance was the best yet. This year the newly formed Sankofa Cultural Arts Alliance joined forces with Anderson to help her plan the event.
Anderson said, “This event brings the community closer. It’s a start of the community joining together. On this day, everyone was well represented: old, young, white and black. Everyone showed up.”
Laura Agee, director of the Wilcox County Area Chamber of Commerce, agreed. She said, “Juneteenth was an event that educated everyone on the Emancipation Proclamation and highlighted the cultural heritage of African Americans. It was encouraging to see everyone at the Old Shoe Shop Museum coming together to celebrate our unifying freedoms.”