On Saturday, May 20, citizens of the Shiloh community in southern Quincy came together at Shiloh Community Park to celebrate Emancipation Day.
Organized by Linda Nealy and the Shiloh Community Action Group, this is the seventh time the event took place in Shiloh Park, beginning in 1999.
The freeing of slaves in the United States is celebrated on different days in different states.
In Florida, the day is celebrated on May 20.
On this date in 1865, eleven days after the end of the American Civil War, Major General Edward McCook read President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation at the Knott House in Tallahassee, the first time it was read in Florida.
The proclamation was finalized in 1863, and declared all slaves in the Southern Confederacy to be forever free, although most would not benefit from this until two years after the war ended.
Members of the Shiloh community celebrated this momentous event with an afternoon of prayer, song, fellowship, and food.
Present to welcome everyone to the event was District 5 Commissioner Ronterious Green, who also helped to sponsor the event.
Musical selections were performed by the St. Marks Baptist Choir, The Bostick Temple Choir, and Brother John “Wingman” Mason, Jr.
The community also honored its oldest living man, West Roney, and oldest living woman, Archie Mae Carter at the event.
The event was also sponsored by Reed and Hall Mortuary, The Greenery Flower Service, Tri-Eagle Sales, Second Harvest, Gadsden County Sheriff’s Department, Dominique Riles, Alexzander Walters-Smith, Bertha Walters, Dale Nealy, Tony McNeal, Sophia Sutton, Ella Richard, Mitchell’s Pawn Shop, Rosetta Haywood, Mattie McGriff, Danny Nealy, and Dale Outley.
Stephen Klein – Gadsden County News Service