The Greater Fairbanks NAACP Unit 1001 is hosting its annual community-wide Juneteenth Celebration online this year.

From 7-8 p.m. Friday, there will be poetry and music and words of liberation. On Saturday, mini-workshops will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration is required. To register, visit NAACP of Fairbanks, Alaska on Facebook, or email fairbanks.juneteenth@gmail.com.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 had minimal to no impact on the day-to-day lives of many slaves, particularly those in Confederate states. Enslaved people in Texas were not freed until 1865, when Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston to take possession of the state. On June 19, 1865, Gen. Granger delivered General Order No. 3 from the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa, thereby finally ending legal slavery in the United States.

The commemoration of this event is now known as Juneteenth. Juneteenth is observed across the U.S. by people of all races, nationalities and religions, with the recognition that honoring the experiences of others leads to significant improvements in our society.

The yearly community-wide celebration usually includes free food and entertainment. It is a family-friendly affair, with activities for children provided. This year, in order to ensure physical distancing and keep people safe, the event has been moved online to Zoom and Facebook live. Anyone who would like to participate but doesn’t have experience with Zoom or Facebook is invited to email fairbanks.juneteenth@gmail.com ahead of time for personal support. These apps work from a smartphone, computer or tablet. Families are encouraged to watch together.