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Natasha N. Mackey

Juneteenth is the day that black folks celebrate the freeing of African-descended slaves in Texas.

While President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it did not become effective in Texas until June 19, 1865. The name Juneteenth is a combination of “June” and “19th.” It is sometimes referred to Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. Depending on factors such as the area of the country, the festivities can vary and last more than a day.

And it is surely a day to recognize!

Days that we recognize throughout history were in many cases surrounded by bloodshed, people being mistreated, and people in power dominating other humans because they could. All the revolutions, war victories, and people’s movements involved struggle. Even the Savior, Yeshua the Christ, ultimately got His victory by persecution and dying on the cross.

Resurrection Day couldn’t have happened without His suffering!

It’s the same with African-descended blacks. Wresting off those 400 years of slavery is a cause of celebration. Honoring those who suffered and lived to tell it is a cause of celebration!

It’s nothing to be ashamed about; nothing to be fearful of! When one is set free from bondage or rolled off from under another’s boot, it’s a time of rejoicing! Of course, what one does with their liberty is another matter altogether.

The Black Heritage Committee of Roswell is attempting to address such matters.

For instance, during the 2015 Black History Month Health Walk, it distributed a booklet to attendees which stressed that while good health includes the physical, it also encompasses more. It involves having a sound relationship with the Spirit (who we specifically acknowledge as God the Father, His Son Yeshua the Christ, and the Holy Spirit).

Good health means being healed through Yeshua so that we can thrive well in freedom psychologically, mentally, emotionally, and financially – knowing that throughout, Father God loves us and will teach us how to show His love to others. That’s true freedom!

The Committee thanks Tobosa Developmental Services for co-sponsoring Juneteenth 2017. It appreciates the organization’s outreach to the community!

A Juneteenth celebration will be held from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in the 2700 block of South Union in Roswell, adjacent Monterrey Elementary School.

The featured speaker, presenting from 2:30-3:30 p.m., will be Natasha N. Mackey. Mackey has worked in the ministry for more than 20 years in various capacities across denominational lines.

She ministers both nationally and internationally, and is an emerging speaker, author and singer/songwriter. Mackey also serves as a Roswell city councilor.

For more information on the event, call 575-317-4045.