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Mr. Sam Collins III
Juneteenth Celebration 2024
Trend Magazine Online™
Article May 2024
#juneteenth #samcollinsIII

By Jay Whipple

Trend Magazine Online™

American History!

Re-published from a previous edition with 2024 updates...

Annual Juneteenth Celebration Sam Collins III 2024 Pic
Juneteenth is one of those holidays where as if you ask most Americans its premise they would respond with a resounding "I don't know." I too did not know until the 1990's when a former business associate of mine spearheaded the celebration in Charlotte, NC. That celebration was later revived by another business associate from Africa and is still in operation today. ๐ŸŽ‰ I attended an all-Black/African-American grade school in Miami and we were well educated on our history by learning of the contributions of Black/African-American icons like abolitionist Mr. Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey (b.k.a. Frederick Douglass), the underground railroad's Ms. Araminta Ross (b.k.a. Harriet Tubman a.k.a. Moses), inventor Mr. George Washington Carver (The Peanut Man), and abolitionist Ms. Isabella Baumfree (b.k.a. Sojourner Truth) to name a few. ๐Ÿ“š Unfortunately, I do not recall being taught anything concerning this important holiday/event. ๐Ÿค”

Sam Collins III The Galveston Story 2024 Pic I was quite surprised to recently learn that this important piece of American history has been at the forefront of celebrations on the island of Galveston, Texas, since 1865 when the area Slaves were finally informed that they were in fact free to leave their perspective plantations and seek the American dream that includes Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness per our United States Constitution ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ. The delayed news, known as General Order Number 3 ๐Ÿ“œ, was delivered by Major General Gordon Granger ๐ŸŒŸ. Sam Collins III The Galveston Story PicThis was monumental news for some of the 250,000 Texas Slaves ๐ŸŽ‰, although the rest of our nation's cities had received the message more than five months earlier following the official adoption of the 13th Amendment on Tuesday January 31, 1865, and after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth on Saturday April 15, 1865 ๐ŸŽญ. Note: In 2022, a colorful mural entitled Absolute Equality was dedicated to mark one of the reported spots of that historic announcement ๐ŸŽจ๐Ÿ“.

Annual Juneteenth Celebration Old Stringfellow Orchards 2024 Pic Some will argue that the Slaves in the United States were actually freed on Monday September, 22, 1862, after then President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary document known as the Emancipation Proclamation which was a presidential order (known today as an Executive Order) as opposed to a law signed by the United States Congress. This document proclaimed that Slaves in certain U.S. cities and States shall be freed on Thursday January 1, 1863, which resulted in a small portion of the more than four million enslaved Blacks/Africans obtaining their freedom. This new found freedom was a blessing for some and a curse for others who had grown highly dependent on their masters' providing their food, clothing, and shelter for nearly four centuries. As such, reportedly 40% of the Slaves in North Carolina actually supported the South/Confederacy during the Civil War (1861-1865) by maintaining the plantations, assisting the Confederate troops, and some fighting side-by-side with their masters. This phenomenon is known today as the Stockholm syndrome as explained in my book Charlotte From A Tour Guide's Perspective. ๐Ÿ—ฝ๐Ÿ”“๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ“œ๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ

Annual Juneteenth Celebration New Stringfellow Orchards 2024 PicThanks to various individuals, groups, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations; this important piece of American history has been preserved since Slavery was officially abolished in 1865 more than a Century and a half ago. Some of those individuals/businesspersons are Doris and Sam Collins III of Hitchcock, Texas, which is approximately 15 miles (by car) from the island of Galveston. In 2005 this dynamic duo purchased and restored a 19th Century home that was once owned by Mr. Henry Martyn Stringfellow, a successful horticulturist from 1883 to his death in 1912 during the period known today as Reconstruction. He was well known for paying former Slaves $1 a day as opposed to the then going wage of 50 cents which afforded them a higher standard of living for their families. Some went on to purchase land of their own from their wages derived from the orange groves on the 9.5-acre property. The old post-antebellum home is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places (since 2013), and has been part of the area Juneteenth celebrations since 2006. Several years ago the home was part of a PBS special (21st Minute) focusing on the area. ๐Ÿก๐Ÿ”๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ‘

Annual Juneteenth Celebration Crutcher 2024 PicMr. Collins, 53 (June 2024), is a native of Hitchcock and is known today as a modern-day Frederick Douglass (Abolitionist). He was named Citizen of the Year ๐Ÿ† by the Galveston County Daily News ๐Ÿ“ฐ in 2015 for his many civic activities to include member or advisor for local, state, and national historical organizations; investment services entrepreneur, philanthropist, community organizer, and champion of the 150th anniversary ๐ŸŽ‰ (2015) of Juneteenth ๐ŸŽŠ in the Galveston area. He attended Texas A&M University ๐ŸŽ“, on an academic scholarship, and took a semester off to pursue several business opportunities -- one in which involved selling water filters ๐Ÿ’ง. He then accepted a position selling life insurance after losing his job at Walgreens ๐Ÿ›’. Collins then started his own business -- SLC Investment Services ๐Ÿ’ผ -- after stints with Edward Jones Investments ๐Ÿ’ต and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management ๐Ÿ’ฐ, upon earning his securities license. He did return to Texas A&M ๐Ÿซ, after a semester off, where he earned his Bachelor's ๐ŸŽ“ in Business Administration/Accounting ๐Ÿ’ผ degree. Collins later organized a trip to Selma ๐ŸšŒ, Alabama, where our ancestors successfully spearheaded the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act โœŠ; however, fell short in his campaign to lure President Barack Obama ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ to Galveston for the 150th Anniversary ๐ŸŽ‰ of Juneteenth in 2015. His next big endeavor is to get Juneteenth listed as a national holiday.

On Thursday June 17 ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ, 2021, history was made when President Joseph R. Biden ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ signed into law the bill that made Juneteenth an official Federal Holiday ๐ŸŽ‡!

Annual Juneteenth Celebration Ruby Bridges 2024 Pic

Annual Juneteenth Celebration Documentary Screening 2024 Pic
Juneteenth: The Galveston Story ๐ŸŽฅ is A Virtual Juneteenth Documentary Screening ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ that debuted on Saturday June 5 ๐Ÿ“…, 2021, at 6 PM โฐ, at the Rosenberg Library ๐Ÿ“š (409-763-8854, ext. 117), and was followed by a conversation with the filmmakers Sam Addington ๐ŸŽฌ and Sam Collins III ๐ŸŽž๏ธ.

Annual Juneteenth Celebration Galveston African-American Museum 2024 PicAnother long-time area native is 70+ year old Vietnam Veteran Mr. James Josey ๐ŸŽ–๏ธ who purchased a building once owned by an "Old lady" ๐Ÿ‘ต and has since converted it into what today is known as the African American Museum ๐Ÿ›๏ธ which cannot be missed as it is adorned with portraits of some of the area's most famous Blacks/African-Americans ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ. The artist is E. Herron ๐ŸŽจ and depicted on the old home are Mr. Jack Johnson ๐ŸฅŠ (1908 - 1915 Heavyweight Boxing Champion), Ms. Annie Mae Charles ๐Ÿ‘ฎ (first Galveston Black female police officer), Mr. Doug Matthews ๐Ÿ›๏ธ (first Black City [Galveston] Manager in Texas), and the late great R&B ๐ŸŽค (Rhythm and Blues) singer/pianist/conductor/composer ๐ŸŽถ of the Love Unlimited Orchestra Mr. Barry White ๐ŸŽน, to name a few. Other famous Galvestonians ๐ŸŒด are Reginald Ballard ๐ŸŽญ who played the memorable role of Brah ๐ŸŽฉ (Brother) Man ๐Ÿ•บ in the hit series Martin ๐Ÿ“บ (1992 โˆ’ 1997) starring comedian-turned-actor Martin Lawrence ๐ŸŽฌ and Tisha Campbell-Martin ๐Ÿ’ƒ, and Ms. Tina Beyonce'-Knowles ๐Ÿ’ผ, entrepreneur and mother of hit maker Beyonce' ๐ŸŽถ. The museum has been in operation since 2003 ๐Ÿ›๏ธ and also part of the annual Juneteenth ๐ŸŽ‰ celebration. My personal fondest memory of the city is that it is mentioned in the movie Jason's Lyric ๐ŸŽฅ (1994), starring Allen Payne ๐ŸŽญ (Jason) and Jada Pinkett-Smith ๐Ÿ’– (Lyric). I really loved the way they pronounced the city's name in the movie; Texas ๐Ÿค  drawl and awl. Smile! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Annual Juneteenth Celebration Old Central Cultural Center 2024 Pic Mr. Josey ๐ŸŽ–๏ธ, who has lived in Galveston ๐Ÿ๏ธ most of his life save a 14-year stay in Compton ๐ŸŒ†, CA ๐ŸŒด; comments that "We must let our young know that we have history," and that our "Young people are killing each other over colors. We are trying hard to teach them about true history," and to accomplish that important task they have enlisted the support of American Muslims ๐Ÿ•Œ to come in and speak with those young gang members concerning the pitfalls of violence and drugs. In addition, they recruit prisoners to speak to the kids during their after school program, offer tutoring at the museum, and their motivational speakers draw crowds of 300 ๐ŸŽค to 400 people ๐Ÿ‘ฅ according to Josey ๐Ÿ›๏ธ. As a result, he states that there is no more gang-related violence in the city. While living in the Los Angeles ๐ŸŒ† area he attended two Juneteenth ๐ŸŽ‰ celebrations and served as an event coordinator. He has three daughters and one son, all currently living in Houston ๐ŸŒ†, Texas ๐ŸŒต. I am thankful that he was willing to allow my telephone interview while taking a respite in Las Vegas ๐ŸŽฐ to "Catch some of the shows," ๐ŸŽญ he said.

Annual Juneteenth Celebration Jack Johnson 2024 Pic Another Juneteenth ๐ŸŽ‰ venue in the past has been the Old Central Cultural Center that was established in 1974 to preserve the Central High School ๐Ÿซ building which is the first to open for Blacks/African-Americans ๐ŸŒ (then Colored) in the entire State ๐ŸŒต of Texas ๐ŸŒ† in 1885. An annex was added in 1904 to accommodate the Rosenberg Library ๐Ÿ“š for Colored ๐ŸŽจ (now Black/African-American ๐ŸŽต). The school closed in 1968 as area public schools became integrated as a result of the 1954 Supreme Court โš–๏ธ case known as Brown versus Board of Education ๐Ÿ›๏ธ of Topeka ๐ŸŒป, Kansas ๐ŸŒพ. The school site had been moved to its fourth location in the building that is currently used as the Galveston Independent School District ๐Ÿซ middle school. The original site now includes the Jack Johnson Park ๐ŸŒณ which has also been used for previous Juneteenth ๐ŸŽŠ celebrations. The 501 c (3) ๐Ÿ’ฐ center lost its long-time tenant in 2012 and is currently asking for financial assistance from the public. The Board Chair ๐Ÿช‘ is Mr. George "Pete" ๐ŸŽค Henley ๐Ÿ›๏ธ.

This year's (2024) Galveston area events include:
Juneteenth Logo Pic
Click here or pic above for this year's events!

Annual Juneteenth Celebration QCT Charlotte Pilgrimage Tour 2024 Pic
The city of Charlotte ๐Ÿ™๏ธ, NC ๐ŸŒ„, is in the process of presenting its 27th Annual Juneteenth celebration ๐ŸŽ‰ at Thomas ๐ŸŒณ and Commonwealth Avenues ๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ just east of Uptown/Downtown/Center City ๐ŸŒ† in the Plaza/Midwood Neighborhood ๐Ÿ˜๏ธ. The four day event will kick off on Thursday June 13, 2024, with a Youth Culture Camp โ›บ; a Drum Circle ๐Ÿฅ on Friday June 14, 2024; the Open Ceremony ๐ŸŽ‡, History of Juneteenth ๐Ÿ“œ, and Entertainments & Prayers ๐ŸŽค on Saturday June 15, 2024, and culminate with a Gospel Fest ๐ŸŽถ, Entertainments ๐ŸŽญ, and Closing Ceremony ๐ŸŽŠ on Sunday June 16, 2024. Mr. Pape Ndiaye ๐ŸŒ of Senegal West Africa ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณ has been heading up the organizing committee for a number of years now.

Traid Cutural Arts Inc. Winston-Salem NC Juneteenth Celebration 2024 Pic
The Town of Matthews, NC ๐Ÿž๏ธ will be celebrating its 3rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration ๐ŸŽ‰ on Wednesday June 19 with Poetry โœ๏ธ, Song ๐ŸŽต, Dance ๐Ÿ’ƒ, Education ๐Ÿ“š, Music ๐ŸŽถ, & Exhibits ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ.

Traid Cutural Arts Inc. Winston-Salem NC Juneteenth Celebration 2024 Pic
Triad Cultural Arts, Inc. ๐ŸŽญ of Winston-Salem, NC, will be celebrating its Freedom and the Will to be FREE Juneteenth festivities to include the Shotgun House Legacy Site ๐Ÿ  and Rooted In Race ๐ŸŒฑ exhibits on Saturday June 15, 2024, and Crafts ๐ŸŽจ, Merchandise & Exhibits ๐Ÿ›๏ธ, Food Trucks ๐Ÿšš - Culinary Court ๐Ÿด, Music ๐ŸŽถ and Entertainment ๐ŸŽญ, Kid's Kingdom ๐Ÿ‘‘, and Special Exhibits ๐ŸŽช.

Traid Cutural Arts Inc. Winston-Salem NC Juneteenth Celebration 2024 PicOn Sunday May 21, 2023, the city of Winston-Salem, NC, held its Freedom Day Celebration ๐ŸŽ‰ at St. Philips Moravian Church โ›ช in the Old Salem Village ๐Ÿก adjacent to the historic Happy Hill ๐ŸŒณ Black/African-American neighborhood which dates back to 1872 when the church "created a segregated place across Salem Creek for Freedmen who were eager to buy land and build homes for their families."

Annual Juneteenth Celebration 2024 QCT Charlotte Pilgrimage Tour Pic
Queen City Tourssm and Travel will once again be offering its 26th Annual QCT Charlotte Pilgrimage Toursm and optional Virtually-Guided tours the entire month of June at 10 A.M. and 1:30 P.M., and at 1:30 PM on Sundays, in conjunction with the annual celebration. Each 3-hour tour will begin from The Market @ 7th Street in Uptown Charlotte with stops at 3 area Slave Cemeteries, and a former Slave Church. Also included are over 50 other sites of Charlotte history from an African-American perspective to include a stop by a home that was bombed during the Civil Rights Movement in the mid 1960's. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Pilgrimage College Scholarship in honor of the late Pastor Jeff Lowrance and Dr. Reginald A. Hawkins.

Click here to reserve your date ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ

If you are not able to attend one or more of the events mentioned above, visit here for a list of other area celebrations and remember, "Each One, Teach One!."

Want to go to Galveston or Charlotte/Matthews or Winston-Salem Juneteenth? Click to plan a group visit here!. Plan your individual trip here!

Photos 3, 5, 6 courtesy of Sam Collins III

Click to Enlarge Queen Charlotte Photo




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