Lansing Juneteenth Celebration

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"Redefining & Transforming Ourselves
into the Betterment of the Community"

Our Mission:

The mission of the Lansing Juneteenth Committee is to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States by celebrating the joys of liberty, educating the community about our heritage and by promoting positive cultural interaction.

Who Are We:

The Lansing Juneteenth Celebration is a project of Progressive Empowerment Education Resource Services - P.E.E.R.S. 501(c)(3).

The headquarters location for the Lansing Juneteenth Committee of P.E.E.R.S. is the Mask Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.  The Juneteenth Committee is co-chaired by  Ms. Marilyn Plummer and Mr. Edwin Thompson.  See our contact page for more information.

Juneteenth Ceremonial Signing

Juneteenth in Michigan

In June, 2005, Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed legislation officially designating the third Saturday in June as Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Michigan. Senate Bill 384 (PA 48) was sponsored by Senator Martha G. Scott. Michigan is the 18th state to officially recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday.

“I am honored to officially declare Juneteenth National Freedom Day,” said Governor Granholm.  “Juneteenth is a celebration of African American history and culture,” said Senator Scott who sponsored the legislation. “It is important that we promote understanding, freedom and a strong sense of community.”    

Pictured above are Rep. Michael Murphy, Rev. A. Richard Doss and Marilyn Plummer with Governor Granholm at the ceremonial signing of the Juneteenth legislation, July 21, 2005.  The Governor was presented with copies of the Juneteenth Activity Book and Souvenir Book.

What is Juneteenth Day and Why Do We Celebrate?

Juneteenth is a holiday marking the end of slavery in the United States.

In the confusion and turmoil as the Civil war drew to a close, many blacks did not immediately learn of General Robert E. Lee’s April, 1865 surrender to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia.  In fact, Texans fought on through May, when they finally learned that the war had truly ended.

When Union Army General Gordon Granger landed at the Texas Port City of Galveston to take command of the military district of Texas, one of his first actions after landing in June, 1865, was to read General Order #3 to the people of Galveston.

General Granger read, “The people of Texas are informed...all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves...” 

Thus, June 19th (Juneteenth) - became the emancipation date of those long suffering for freedom, the newly freed slaves of Texas.

This tradition of celebration has remained strong well into the 21st century and is celebrated in many states throughout the nation.  Juneteenth is honored like the Fourth of July, with prayer services, inspirational speeches, reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, stories from former slaves, picnics, games, rodeos, dances and festivals.

The celebration of Juneteenth is a multi-cultural recognition of the triumph of the human spirit over the cruelty of slavery.  For African-Americans, it is a tribute to the strength, endurance and faith of their ancestors.  For all of America it is a reminder that none of us is free until all of us are free!

Send mail to webmaster@LansingJuneteenthCelebration.org with questions or comments about this web site. 
Copyright © 2005-2014 P.E.E.R.S. - Lansing Juneteenth Committee
Last modified: 06/18/2014


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