Celebrating Freedom Rally slated for Thursday

Published on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 00:02 - Written by Kelly Gooch, kgooch@tylerpaper.com

The public is invited to a Celebrating Freedom Rally in honor of Juneteenth.

The rally is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Roseland Plantation, 2591 Texas Highway 64 West in Van Zandt County. 

Event coordinator and veterinarian Dr. Dwayne Collins said the main goal of the rally is to look at how much has been accomplished, from the founding of the country and the Revolutionary War to the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil Rights. This year marks the 151st anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“We have come a long way,” Collins said, adding that Juneteenth is “a celebration of all Americans of all colors.”

“Essentially what we’re trying to convey is unity. … It’s essentially celebrating freedom in America for all races. That’s essentially what we’re trying to convey.”

District 19 State Rep. James White, a Texas native, U.S. Army veteran and small businessman, will be the main speaker.

Collins said Blake Garibaldi, of New Life Worship Center Choir, also will present patriotic music, and Tim West, historian and owner of the plantation, will address the plantation’s history. The plantation received the first Recorded Texas Historic Landmark designation in Van Zandt County, said Bob Brinkman, coordinator of the Texas Historical Commission’s Historical Markers Program. 

Additionally, Collins, who will serve as the master of ceremonies, will share family history related to the Civil War era and discuss the 1964 Civil Rights Act, according to a news release.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair or ground cover to sit on. The event will be rescheduled if there is inclement weather, Collins said.

For more information, call 903-571-0165.