Juneteenth is a commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers went to Galveston, Texas, with news the war had ended and that all enslaved people were free. This was two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had become official on January 1, 1863.

This year on June 17-18, a Juneteenth Celebration: “A Family United” will be held at Heritage Park Amphitheater in Simpsonville. The celebration kicks off at 5:00pm on Saturday, June 17, and will resume at noon on Sunday, June 18. The keynote speaker is David Banner, and Special Ed is the guest hip-hop performer. Ric Mathis will preview part 2 of his film (www.thefilmblackfriday.com); Isna Tianti will share spiritual poetry, and The Lovely Big O will serve as master of ceremonies, sharing her humor.