The Jefferson School Heritage Center prepares for Juneteenth celebration

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 10:18 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center is gearing up for a Juneteenth celebration, the day that marks the true end of slavery in the United States.

The information was not published in newspapers. A quarter of a million slaves in Texas didn’t know they were freed for two and a half years post release of the Emancipation Proclamation.

People are invited to celebrate June 19 - when all enslaved people heard the news in 1866 - on the front lawn at the Jefferson School Heritage Center.

“We are encouraging people to bring out their blankets and just hang out and have a good time,” saidDr. Andrea Douglas, the Jefferson School Heritage Center executive director, said.

Food trucks and live bands will be present.

“We will be marking off the grass so people can engage in social distancing,” Douglas said. “Even though restrictions have been lifted, there are still people out there that have not been vaccinated.”

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center is not requiring but strongly encouraging continued mask use during the event.

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