Emancipation Celebration in Tallahassee

In the 1800s news traveled slowly and it took a while for word of the Emancipation Proclamation to reach slaves in Florida, more than two years.

Thursday marked the 139th anniversary of the day that proclamation was read in Tallahassee the moment when blacks learned they were free.

The Knott House Museum in Tallahassee provided the backdrop as folks celebrated Emancipation Day, an event that marked the time when black slaves were guaranteed their freedom.

Rev. Bernyce Clausell said, "Some people take it for granted you know, but they shouldn't because so many people even had to die so we ourselves could be free."

More than 20 students from Carolyn Brevard Elementary School commemorated the event by reading poems and placing flowers on the graves of soldiers who fought for slaves to be free, a lesson these children are now taking to heart.

Organizers say it’s imperative that these children learn their history so they'll appreciate their future.

Tameka Hobbs, assistant professor of history at FAMU, says, "When you understand what it meant to be a slave in this country it's an excellent opportunity or teaching tool use kind to get them to think deeply about some of those issue especially during a time like now then we're at war for the same principals that these soldiers died for."

Principals that have paved a way so that all children, black and white, will be treated as equals. It's fitting that the celebration is held each year at the Knott House. That's where the proclamation was read in 1865.