Juneteenth is an expression and extension of American freedom and, like the Fourth of July, a time for all Americans to celebrate our independence, human rights, civil rights, and freedom. New Bern’s Juneteenth Celebration at Tryon Palace, featuring Donald Payton, will commemorate this memorable day with a program that includes: the raising of the Juneteenth Flag by the USCT, a proclamation presented by the City of New Bern, a display of local talent (poems and songs), a nationally-known Juneteenth historian as guest speaker, an essay contest to inform and engage the youth, and a reception to follow.
Donald Payton is president of the African American Genealogy Interest Group, which is a branch of the Dallas Genealogical Society. Mr. Payton has spent more than 35 years tracing family histories and doing historical workshops across America. He is a former Dallas County Historical Commissioner who has served on a special state committee to make June 19th an official Texas state holiday, and he has presented numerous Juneteenth workshops and programs in various states. Mr. Payton has also been featured in national media news events and interviews. In June 1998, he published an article for D Magazine entitled, “Timeline: A Concise History: Black Dallas Since 1842.”