South Georgians react to Juneteenth becoming federal holiday

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 11:00 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - On Thursday, June 19 was declared a federal holiday.

Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in America.

Albany resident Susie Tomblin said it’s long past due.

“For so many years now, people have not been aware of what’s been going on and what happened back then, so I think it’s a good thing that it’s out in the open, like they say, coming to a pass,” said Tomblin.

“I just think America needs to do a lot more for its black people,” said Pelham City Council Member Fredrick Davis.

While calling for more action, Davis said Juneteenth is one step toward celebrating equality.

“We’re not looking for more than anyone else is looking for, but if America hadn’t gotten free labor off the backs of our black brothers and sisters, we wouldn’t be where we are,” said Davis.

Eva McGhee, another Albany resident, said she and her daughter-in-law had never heard of Juneteenth, but they’re happy about it becoming a federal holiday.

“I’m glad they’re celebrating it,” said McGhee.

Several events are taking place across Southwest Georgia to celebrate Juneteenth.

One of those events includes a Juneteenth Gala at the Albany Municipal Auditorium where WALB News 10′s own Karla Heath-Sands will be honored for her community service.

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