The city of Lansing has kicked off its annual Juneteenth celebration.
Juneteenth refers to June 19, 1865. On that day, two months after the end of the Civil War, Union Army General Gordon Granger read aloud the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas.
Juneteenth’s popularity declined after the war, but rebounded in the 1960’s.
Today, Lansing’s Juneteenth committee chair Marilyn Plummer says she believes social attitudes towards civil rights have taken a step backwards.
“Some of our leaders are not as friendly with thoughts of being inclusive,” Plummer says. “We’re concerned about how people treat people, and so the equity issue is a concern as a nation.”
Lansing’s observance continues through Saturday. One of the biggest events will be the African-American Parade and Juneteenth Peace Walk, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at Letts Community Center.