BILOXI, MS (WLOX) –The rain held off at Henry Beck Park of the annual Juneteenth celebration sponsored by the East Biloxi Community Collaborative on Saturday.
Ward 2 Councilman Felix Gines read a proclamation from Mayor Gilich declaring June 17 as Juneteenth Freedom Day.
“We celebrate the Juneteenth holiday in an effort to bring awareness to the community about African-American history and the ending of slavery,” said Allytra Perryman.
Buffalo Soldier reenactors came over from New Orleans to share the story of the 9th and 10th Cavalries who fought during the Civil War. While the Juneteenth celebration dates back more than a century, the EBCC tries to make it about more than just the past.
At the event, the group honors east Biloxians who are making a big impact on the community.
“I tell you it was a blessing, because I’m from Biloxi. I’m from the second ward. I mean, God has blessed me,” said bbq sauce entrepreneur, James Lee.
Kai Davis accepted on behalf of her mother, who is a dentist on the Coast.
“She’s just special to me, I guess,” said Kai.
West Harrison High School Basketball coach Tommy Searight, Jr. was happy to know his community is proud of him.
“This is a tremendous honor to receive. I grew up on the east side of Biloxi, my grandparents live down the road. My auntie had a shop around the corner and so to be here and receive this honor for giving back and serving is a tremendous blessing to me,” said Searight.
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