HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — It may not be a national holiday yet, but residents of Hagerstown are taking time to observe Juneteenth.
It marks the occasion when General Gordon Granger rode horseback into Galveston, Texas to announce President Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier. The news was a cause of celebration, and with racial tensions heightened now, the observance takes on a special significance for many.
Residents of the Jonathan Street neighborhood in downtown Hagerstown are hoping Juneteenth leads to racial harmony.
“Our community is the Jonathan Street community, where I was raised,” says Monique Broadus. “We are generally Black people. We don’t have a whole lot of white and Latino people here. But, this is the time for everyone to come together regardless of race.”
The Jonathan Street community is pulling together in a spirit of celebration at this very sensitive time, says Broadus.
“Juneteenth is special, especially to the Black community with all of the violence that has been going on,” Broadus says. “Black lives do matter, as well as everyone else’s matter.”
Broadus believes in the foundation of American government that we are all created equal. And it takes cooperation and understanding across cultures to honor those principles.
“With that proclamation that was put forth in 1865,” Broadus says, “we’re hoping that we all can get along regardless of our backgrounds.”