Hall Memorial C.M.E Church held their first Annual Juneteenth Banquet June 21, 2008. This celebration commemorated the historic event of 1865, when the slaves in Galveston, Texas received the news of their emancipation.
The Banquet’s theme, “The Challenges of Freedom,” touched on the challenges that black people have faced since being declared freed in 1863 and the challenges of the Civil Rights struggle in the 1960’s and the struggles to fully access our freedom in today’s society.
The Master of Ceremony, Mr. Jerome McReynolds, gave a narrative of the history of Juneteenth as the program progressed.
One of the featured speakers was Mr. Bobby Mosley, a native of Gee’s Bend and the son of one of the original quilters, the late Mrs. Ruth Mosley. Mrs. Mosley quilts were on display at this commemoration. Mr. Mosley shared his legacy, the history of Gee’s Bend plight in the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960’s. He spoke of the struggles of the families to survive this hardship and of the tenacity and ingenuity of the women that formed the Gee’s Bend Quilters. By the grace of God these quilters would receive world renowned recognition for the genius in the design of their quilts. A documentary of Gee’s Bend was shown while dinner was served.
After dinner Mr. Dwight Moon sang his rendition of “Never would have made it” in his melodious baritone voice.
Dr. Archie L. Rowe introduced the esteemed speaker of the hour, Dr William Larkin. Dr. Larkin’s speech was educational, while entertaining. Dr. Larkin spoke of the beginning of slavery to our freedom from slavery, our struggles to gain our basic Civil Rights and our struggles in today’s society for full access to the American dream culminating in the first African American nominee to the presidency of the United States.
Pastor Anderson T. Graves II gave the final remarks with a summation of the evening and recognition of the Trustee Board for presenting the occasion