JOPLIN, Mo. —Joplin’s emancipation celebration commemorates the freeing of slaves.
It’s different from juneteenth, due to the length of time it took to get the word out that slaves were free. That’s why this celebration happens in Joplin in august, instead of June.
It’s already a longstanding tradition at Joplin’s Ewert park.
“Joplin recently started having small events for juneteenth, this has always been our juneteenth pretty much, and so emancipation days, what we have celebrated here, we can go as far back as nineteen twenty-seven here in Ewert park,” said Chalise Cooper, a chairperson for the event.
The celebration that started Friday night, is meant to bring together people in the community while educating them on African American history, culture, and achievement.
“So emancipation days is pretty much like a family reunion, I mean people come together, we have good food. we have great music. we have stuff for kids every day. it’s all free and open to the community to come out and enjoy…we educate about African American history, culture, and achievement, through the food that we have here. through the music that we have played all throughout the day and night. we also have the resource and informational booths that we set up and we do educate about African American history,” Cooper said.
This celebration brought out people from all over the four states, including four state educators, like park ranger, Curtis Gregory.
“It’s a good day to reflect, have people come out visitors come out, and learn a little bit more about the area about the black history in this area, and again just to celebrate the African American experience,” Gregory said.
Gregory says he was attracted to the event to spread more information about the scientist and says he would’ve celebrated this day as well.
“He would’ve been a part of a generation that would’ve really celebrated Juneteenth and emancipation days probably most of his life.”