Last updated: August 24. 2013 8:22AM - 98 Views

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LIMA



- In a letter about the revived Juneteenth festival celebrating the end of



slavery, Vickie Shurelds made a point about the history being a shared one. "Juneteenth is a helpful reminder that even though we came



here on different ships, we are all now in the same boat," she wrote. The celebration of the signing of the Emancipation



Proclamation has been absent for several years in Lima, and a committee, chaired by Shurelds,



believed the event was needed again. "When it comes to passing along a legacy, in ending



slavery or anything that happened with civil rights, we need to remember it



only happened when everyone worked together," Shurelds said. "You know, the



Underground Railroad was a wonderful thing, but there were many white families,



Jewish families, Quaker families along that route that allowed it to be



successful. It should be a shared story, something we can all celebrate. It's



absolutely critical we celebrate that this year, that we cannot move forward



unless everybody works together." On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers delivered the news to Galveston, Texas,



that the Civil War had ended and slaves freed, more than two years after



President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. The news prompted a celebration



labeled Juneteenth. Many blacks are not aware of their own history, Shurelds



said. Knowing themselves and their history and being proud of it and wanting to



share it will help battle problems in the black community, Shurelds said. Sharing those stories as a part of the rich immigrant



history of the country is important in acknowledging contributions made by blacks,



Shurelds said. Lima's Juneteenth begins at



noon Saturday at Faurot



Park. Most events happen



at the pavilion. The day includes entertainment, food, contests, games and



R&B karaoke along with historical information and dramatizations. The committee will honor a generation of Lima schools black teachers, now retired,



recruited by former Superintendent Earl McGovern. The teachers moved to Lima after graduating in colleges across the South and



many spent their entire careers in the Lima



district. Also during the day, the African American Legacy Project



of Northwest Ohio, begun in Toledo,



will kick off a search for 100 grandmothers to tell their stories. The photos



and stories will be placed on a quilt that will travel the country.



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