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Celebrations and museum re-openings commemorate Juneteenth Weekend

Aiken, Augusta, and the whole CSRA celebrates Juneteenth.
Aiken, Augusta, and the whole CSRA celebrates Juneteenth.(wrdw)
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 11:49 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. & AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Aiken, Augusta, and the whole CSRA kicked off the weekend with Juneteenth celebrations, commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S.

Although the holiday has been recognized by the federal government for only a year, people have been celebrating for well over a hundred years.

From the re-opening of the Lucy C. Laney museum in Augusta, to the center for African American History Art and Culture’s celebration in Aiken, there was a lot to learn in the CSRA on Saturday.

Leaders in both locations explained the significance of the holiday and how it relates to our region.

June Nineteenth is a day of celebration for many, including Juanita Campbell, the Executive Director of Center for African American History, Art, and Culture as it marks the day the last slaves were freed in Galveston Texas in 1865.

“We celebrate the independence of our country on July Fourth but that’s not the independence for everyone, and so for African American Independence, we celebrate Juneteenth,” said Campbell.

The Center for African American History Art and Culture has been celebrating for 13 years and they were excited to see the community do the same.

While, it is usually celebrated on the 19, they decided to host it on Saturday to give more people the chance to join in learning about the holiday’s history.

“We are so happy to have our community come out and support us because that means that they care,” said Campbell. “The reason why I’m here is because my ancestors survived everything that they went through during that time.”

Across the river in Augusta, for historians like Corey Rogers at the Lucy C Laney Museum, it’s about more than celebrating a holiday.

“Juneteenth is about the celebration of a culture, of an experience, of an American Experience,” said Rogers.

It’s also about the celebration of pioneers like Lucy C. Laney.

“Miss Laney was doing a lot in the community,” said Rogers. “So [she was] quite a woman, quite an educator, quite an American.”

The Lucy c. Laney museum open its door again for the first time in nearly two years. Rogers said even though it was a coincidence, Juneteenth weekend is the perfect time to celebrate.

“The Laney Museum is a celebration of an American Culture, of an Augusta culture so we’re trying to keep that legacy alive here so I think it’s really appropriate,” said Rogers.

The Lucy C. Laney museum also features other leaders from the community like Dr. T.W. Josey, C.T. Walker, Jessye Norman and James Brown.

They are open Tuesday through Saturday 9:30AM - 4:00 PM for tours that can be booked over the phone or online.

In Aiken, the Center for African American History, Art, and Culture will be hosting other exhibits after Juneteenth.

Their hours are 8:30 AM - 5:30PM Monday - Friday.

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