DeKalb County to host Juneteenth celebration

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond speks about last night’s removal of an obelisk Confederate monument on the courthouse square, as a press conference occurs in reference to it on Friday June 19, 2020, in Decatur. DeKalb Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger declared the monument that was erected in 1908 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, to be a public nuisance that should be removed. JOHN AMIS FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

By Tyler Estep

DeKalb County will host a Juneteenth celebration later this month, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Juneteenth is traditionally celebrated on June 19, but DeKalb’s event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 18.

Festivities will take place at the bandstand on the downtown Decatur square.

Speakers will include Pastor Jeffree Fauntleroy of the House of Hope Atlanta; DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond; DeKalb NAACP president Teresa Hardy; and poet Hank Stewart.

DeKalb commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson, who led last year’s push to make Juneteenth an official county holiday, is scheduled to speak as well.

Music, live refreshments and a mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit will also be included, officials said.

The event will coincide with the one-year anniversary of the removal of a Confederate monument from the Decatur square. Crews began taking down the 30-foot obelisk — which had stood on the square since the United Daughters of the Confederacy installed it in 1908 — on the evening of June 18, 2020.

It was the morning of Juneteenth by the time the work was completed.

Several DeKalb County cities — including Avondale Estates, Clarkston, Decatur and Stone Mountain — are also hosting Juneteenth events this year.

Read the original story on