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Juneteenth Education

Finding Inspiration at Every Turn

Juneteenth is the "longest-running African-American holiday," and it recognizes June 19, 1865, as the date that news of slavery's end reached the enslaved in Texas and other States of the Confederacy.


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The Juneteenth Parade 2023
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Meeting Confederate Historian, Jack Cowart
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Tough but Necessary: A Conversation with the Confederacy (Part II)
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The ‘Clotilda,’ the Last Known Slave Ship to Arrive in the U.S., Is Found

The discovery carries intense personal meaning for an Alabama community of descendants of the ship’s survivors

Allison Keyes

Museum Correspondent

May 22, 2019


One hundred and fifty-nine years ago, slave traders stole Lorna Gail Woods’ great-great grandfather from what is now Benin in West Africa. Her ancestor, Charlie Lewis, was brutally ripped from his homeland, along with 109 other Africans, and brought to Alabama on the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to arrive in the United States. Today, researchers confirmed that the remains of that vessel, long rumored to exist but elusive for decades, have been found along the Mobile River, near 12 Mile Island and just north of the Mobile Bay delta.

“The excitement and joy is overwhelming,” says Woods, in a voice trembling with emotion. She is 70 years old now. But she’s been hearing stories about her family history and the ship that tore them from their homeland since she was a child in Africatown, a small community just north of Mobile founded by the Clotilda’s survivors after the Civil War.


The descendants of Cudjo Lewis and Abache (above) heard stories of the ship that tore their ancestors from their homeland and now the wreck of the Clotilda has been confirmed to be found in Alabama's Mobile River. Wikimedia Commons

Our Story. . .
Successful Negotiation of Juneteenth Parade Route in Dothan, AL

May 2022 – The University of Georgia School of Law’s First Amendment Clinic, in partnership with the ACLU of Alabama, successfully negotiated a permit for Tri-State Expo (TSE)’s 2022 annual Juneteenth Celebration parade in downtown Dothan, Alabama.

Established in 2017, TSE is a community-centered organization that promotes small independent businesses in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. In 2021, TSE organized Dothan’s first-ever Juneteenth Parade Celebration aimed at showcasing minority-owned businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs. The parade was intended to flow down Main Street to the Dothan Civic Center, consistent with other culturally significant parades that are authorized by the City of Dothan to use Main Street.

After months of misdirection and confusion concerning the required procedure for TSE to secure a Main Street permit, and countless hours that TSE spent collecting signatures from businesses along the proposed route, the City of Dothan denied TSE’s permit application. In order for the Juneteenth parade to go forward at all, TSE was left no choice but to settle for a less visible and less desirable route. Heartbroken by this setback, TSE persevered in hosting a successful 2021 Juneteenth Parade that demonstrated to City officials and others Dothan’s and the tri-state community’s irrepressible interest in celebrating Black Independence Day.

In 2022, the Clinic and the ACLU of Alabama wrote to City of Dothan officials, explaining the many First Amendment concerns with the permitting process for TSE in 2021 and seeking a Juneteenth Parade route that would appropriately showcase the 2022 event.

After further negotiation, the City granted a permit that both includes Main Street and provides the warranted visibility for TSE’s 2022 Juneteenth Parade to be held on June 4th.

Letter to City Officials 2022


Photo: Grand Marshal Reginald Jones & Gamba Warrior Angela Underwood for the 2022 Juneteenth Parade Celebration

Thanks to AL ACLU & THE University of Georgia Law Clinic students Liam Wall (2L), Samantha Luzader (2L),
and Clinic Fellow Lindsey Floyd for their work on behalf of
Tri-State Expo Juneteenth Affairs, Inc.


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