Savannah Mayor Van Johnson (center, black t-shirt) leads the commemorative “Juneteenth Walk to the River” on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

Mayor, City Council Members Lead Juneteenth 'Walk to the River'

Hundreds make memorable walk for inaugural event

Leaders from all corners of the Savannah community gathered with residents on Wednesday morning to take part in the City’s official commemorative event honoring Juneteenth National Independence Day. Hundreds were in attendance for the inaugural “Juneteenth Walk to the River,” led by Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.

After gathering at Wells Park (2299 Montgomery St.) for brief remarks from Johnson and others, the “community walk to celebrate freedom” was led north down Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. behind a police escort and toward the Savannah River (adjacent to Plant Riverside). Johnson led the people – many of whom were carrying banners or signs similar to those used in a parade.
click to enlarge Mayor, City Council Members Lead Juneteenth 'Walk to the River'
[TRAVIS JAUDON]
Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. participate in commemorative “Juneteenth Walk to the River” in Savannah on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.
The City of Savannah City Council was also there in full. Estella Edwards Shabazz, Nick Palumbo and Linda Wilder-Bryan walked near the front alongside Johnson, who wore an “SAV” cap, black jeans, and a black Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity t-shirt.
click to enlarge Mayor, City Council Members Lead Juneteenth 'Walk to the River'
[TRAVIS JAUDON]
Scenes from the commemorative “Juneteenth Walk to the River” on Wednesday, June 19, 2024
“What an incredible morning celebrating freedom at our inaugural Juneteenth Walk to the River,” the City said through its communications department on Wednesday afternoon. “We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who joined Mayor Van Johnson and leadership for this special Juneteenth commemoration. Together, we walked, we reflected, and we honored our shared history.”
Juneteenth originated as a celebration to commemorate the end of slavery. On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to free 250,000 people who were still held in bondage two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
click to enlarge Mayor, City Council Members Lead Juneteenth 'Walk to the River'
[TRAVIS JAUDON]
Savannah Mayor Van Johnson (center, black t-shirt) leads the commemorative “Juneteenth Walk to the River” on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.
It was the final enforcement of the proclamation that ended slavery in America. It has been a national holiday since 2021.

     

Travis Jaudon

Travis Jaudon is a reporter for Connect Savannah. He is a Savannah native and has been writing in Savannah since 2016. Reach him with feedback or story tips at 912-721-4358
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