Panola County celebrated Juneteenth Friday evening at the Panola County African-American Wall of Fame in Cook’s Quarters.

Omowali Lumumba led the ceremonies, talking to members of the community about history of Juneteenth and emphasizing the accomplishments of African-Americans in Panola County and beyond since the first Juneteenth, when slaves in Texas were freed after the Civil War.

The celebration included adding several plaques honoring influential Panola County African-Americans to the wall of fame, free food, games and more.

“This is the day that they let us honor our ancestors, and we’re going to do it, we’re going to enjoy every year on June 19, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Monday or Tuesday or whatever, June 19, we’re going to honor it,” said Shelly Barkins. “Ever since 1865, slaves been free, and we’re gonna keep on honoring it ever since then, and we appreciate that day that they gave us, so we’re going to enjoy it.”