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Athens Annual Day of Jubilee to be on May 4


Members of the Athens community are welcome to join in active ties planned for the third Annual Day of Jubilee commemoration Saturday. Kimberly Davis is Secretary with the Board of Directors on the Morton Theatre Corporation. She says the observation was started by the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement.

“This is the third year that we’re having the celebration thanks to the vision of Mokah and Knowa Johnson,” Davis said.

Events begin with a private wreath-laying ceremony at Baldwin Hall to honor the remains found there in 2015. That will be followed by a public gathering at City Hall at 5 p.m. for an “Honoring Our Ancestors” program before marching to the Morton Theatre for a Day of Jubilee Gospel Celebration.

“We have three choirs that will be performing. We’ll have the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Generational Choir, the Ebenezer West Baptist Church Choir and the East Friendship Baptist Church Voices of Life Choir,” Davis said. “We selected those churches because those were the churches that were the three oldest churches in Athens formed shortly after emancipation that have choirs.

Most communities got the word about freedom in June and refer to the celebration at Juneteenth. That festival is held June 19th.

“On May 4, 1855, Union soldiers came to Athens and told the enslaved Africans that they were free,” Davis said

A $5 donation is suggested for the gospel celebration.