On Saturday, The Brazos Valley African Heritage and Culture Society will host a Juneteenth Parade at 10 a.m.
The organization's Juneteenth celebration begins at 6 p.m. Friday with the laying of wreaths on the graves of several enslaved people in Woodlawn Cemetery on East Main Street in Carbondale. The celebration is free and open to the public.
But to generations of older African-Americans, Juneteenth - celebrated on June 19 - means much more than that. It commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and, more generally, the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South. In 2006, the Arkansas Legislature first recognized Juneteenth as a state memorial day commemorated by the issuance of a proclamation from Governor Huckabee.
Through the years, Juneteenth celebrations in the country have had a strong focus on education and achievements. Also, the NWA Community Clinic is sponsoring a health fair where medical and dental providers will conduct screenings to promote healthy living and address general medical questions.