The celebration of Juneteenth will climax here Tuesday with a morning parade and an evening banquet featuring Dr. David Williams, a former Howard Payne University professor who retired from the Austin Independent School District.
The activities will wrap up five days of activities planned in observance of Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day in 1865 when news of emancipation of slaves was received in Texas.
Entries for the parade will line up shortly after 10 a.m. near the Brownwood Coliseum. The parade will begin at 11 a.m.
The banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Adams Street Community Center.
Williams taught social studies for 22 years before retiring in 1989, and is now executive director of the Southwest African-American Heritage Organization. He is a former history professor at Howard Payne.
A church service in the park is scheduled from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday led by evangelists Patrick and Harriett Wilson. A talent and fashion show will begin at 5 p.m.
Juneteenth related events sponsored by local organizations began with a soul food luncheon Friday and continued with games, food and entertainment Saturday.
Today, a free movie, “Madea Family Reunion,” and popcorn will be offered at 8 p.m.
Williams, a native of McKinney, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bishop College at Marshall in social science and religion. He received his Master of Education degree from Texas Southern University, and Doctor of Education degree from Baylor.
In addition to Howard Payne, he has taught at the University of Texas and Huston-Tillotson College. He founded the Southwest African-American Heritage Organization, formerly the Texas African-American Heritage Organization, in 1987. He is a published author, grant application reviewers for the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, and lecturer for the preservation of African-American heritage in the Southwest.
Juneteenth commemorates the day of June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, belatedly freeing 250,000 slaves in Texas. Even though it started as a Texas observance, its message of freedom has prompted the date to be celebrated in more than a dozen other states as well as several nations.