In 1872, Reverend Jack Yates, Richard Allen, Richard Brock, Reverend Elias Dibble and many African American churches in Houston, TX formed the Colored People’s Festival and Emancipation Park Association and raised $1,000 to purchase ten acres of open land as a home for Juneteenth celebrations. In honor of their freedom, the open land was named Emancipation Park. On Saturday, June 17, 2017, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, the OST/Almeda Redevelopment Corridors, Emancipation Park Conservancy and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department re-dedicated Emancipation Park after an extensive renovation process. Park improvements include the construction of a new recreation center, the renovation of the existing community center and bath house, the construction of a new swimming pool, reconfigured parking options, an entry plaza, a sprayground, playground, walking trail and picnic areas. Tennis and basketball courts and a ball field round out the park amenities. The Brothers of Rho Xi Chapter volunteered their time by assisting exhibitor with their booth set up, attendee registration and crowd control. After uplifting the community, the Brothers enjoyed the celebration and entertainment as those in attendance commemorated this Houston landmark. Set aside to commemorate events of the Nineteenth Century, Emancipation Park continues to serve its neighborhood today. It stands as a monument to the pride and hope that the founding members of the Colored People’s Festival and Emancipation Park Association felt as they stood with their backs to slavery and their faces turned to the future.
Ben Coleman2018-02-20T09:20:32-06:00June 17th, 2017|