Over one hundred and fifty years ago freed slaves purchased land to celebrate their emancipation. This unique moment will be revivified through a multi-million dollar renovation, a renovation made possible by the Friends of Emancipation Park, local philanthropic dollars, the OST/Almeda Redevelopment Authority, and Houston's Economic Development Division.
The history of this park is interwoven with the emancipation of Texas African-Americans. President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. However, Texas received this information a full two years after this proclamation. In fact, it wasn’t until General Granger proclaimed the news on Galveston Island, June 19, 1865, that emancipation was acknowledged. Texans remember this moment as Juneteenth.
After Juneteenth African-American populations across Texas collected money, purchasing property to celebrate Juneteenth as a community. In Houston Reverend Jack Yates, a Baptist minister and former slave led this effort. In honor of their freedom, they named this land Emancipation Park.