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'Freedom Feels Good for Everybody'

Juneteenth is this weekend, commemorated with events by the Evansville African American Museum.

This Sunday is Juneteenth, with federal recognition on Monday the 20th. It’s the day when slaves in Galveston Texas finally learned they were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.

The museum is holding Juneteenth events designed to educate and inspire the community and bring people together. There’s a block party, financial literacy workshop, Baptistown Festival and a Negro League Tribute Game with the Evansville Otters.

Lori Noble is executive assistant at the Evansville African American Museum. She says she hopes the events create a sense of unity.

“We all have differences, but that's fine," Noble said. "I learned that different is not bad, different is not good, different is just different. But we have lots of commonalities that we can celebrate and learn from each other. Promoting black businesses, small businesses.”

Noble says while June 19th is a widely adopted day to celebrate African American freedom, August the 8th is a similar significant day.

“There were other southern states that did get the word in a timely manner, and some didn't. Texas didn't. Also Kentucky and Tennessee. A lot of those folks, they celebrate August the 8th. I don't know why we don't celebrate down here because we're closer and that's what I grew up knowing about.”

Noble says August 8th is when future U.S. President Andrew Johnson finally freed his slaves at his Tennessee ranch in 1863. Still, Noble sees awareness of the Juneteenth Holiday growing.

"A lot of folks here in this area, a lot of people of color, really did not know about Juneteenth. I have family in Texas, they knew all about Juneteenth. So to me there's been a lot of awareness, a lot of education for all people, regardless of their ethnicity, and an appreciation, a new appreciation for freedom," she said.

"Sometimes it comes in drips and dribbles, as people say. But you know, freedom feels good for everybody. So I think lots of folks are getting on board and and that's a great thing to celebrate one another's freedom."

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Tim Jagielo
/
WNIN
Lori Noble of the Evansville African American Museum is Executive Assistant for the Museum Director, Kori Miller.