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FLORENCE, Ala. — On Friday, June 18, a portion of Court Street in downtown Florence will be closed for a Juneteenth block party.

Project Say Something, Reclaiming Our Time, and Black Lives Matter Huntsville are hosting the event and invite the entire community to be a part.

Juneteenth commemorates the freedom of all slaves in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was declared on January 1, 1863, not all enslaved people immediately found freedom.

In the summer of 1865, Union General Gordon Granger and his troops traveled to Galveston, Texas to announce General Order No. 3 on June 19, which delivered the news of the Emancipation Proclamation.

June 19 would go on to be known and celebrated as Juneteenth. To commemorate that day, the organizations invite the community to gather to dance in the streets as they celebrate freedom and joy.

It’s an occasion that organizers are calling a real independence day for the nation, “because everyone was ‘free,’ so it should bring more unity for people to want to celebrate with us and to move forward with everything that’s going on,” Event coordinator Airon Shaw said.

The block party will begin Friday at the Lauderdale County Courthouse at 7 p.m. There will be food, live music, spoken word, and activities for kids.