Emancipation celebration that pre-dates Juneteenth continues in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Most people associate the Emancipation of former slaves with Juneteenth, especially since it was made a Federal Holiday in 2021.

But in Columbus there is an older tradition of celebrating Emancipation Day, and it also comes a month earlier on the calendar.

On May 8th 1865, Union troops arrived in Columbus from Alabama, effectively freeing African-Americans in Columbus and Lowndes County.

The African-American community in the area soon began annual 8 of May celebrations.

Today, that legacy continues, and Wednesday evening, this year’s celebration took place in Columbus’ historic Sandfield Cemetery on College Street.

Students from the African-American History class at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science researched some of the notable figures buried at Sandfield to present their lives and continue their legacies into the future.

And I feel that doing these performances only betters our community, and brings us closer together to an understanding union of what our history actually is.”

Wednesday’s celebration also featured musical performances by groups from MSMS and Columbus High School, as well as a step show.

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