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Lincoln students honor Juneteenth with presentations, coloring activities

Fourth-grade students at Lincoln Elementary School taught each other on Thursday, June 17th, about Juneteenth, the commemoration of the day in 1865 when word of freedom reached slaves in Texas.

“We always have to remember the history,” said Zodi Russell, one of the students in teacher Kristin Cipriani’s class who created a PowerPoint slide show to present to the class.

The day remembered – June 19, 1865 – came more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. But it was the day that Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army reached Galveston, Texas, and announced the news to slaves who had been denied the information.

“Some walked right off their plantations, never to be seen again,” said Library Media Specialist Laura Marino. She was leading a second Juneteenth activity, in which students colored in the Juneteenth flag – blue on top, red on the bottom, surrounding a star.

“The star in the middle represents freedom,” said student Madison Henry.

The day has come to commemorate the end of slavery. This week, Congress and President Joe Biden have been working to declare it a federal holiday.

“It reminds us that everyone should be equal,” said student Kylee Walker.

The educators at the school wanted to stress the importance of learning history, even the unpleasant aspects such as the treatment of slaves.

“So they can see what African American slaves have been through and how we can now follow our dreams and aspirations,” said Principal Rebecca Jones. “We don’t want to take that for granted as we embark on a new beginning.”