‘Everybody is welcome’: The city of Edinburg celebrates Juneteenth

Local News

EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — The city of Edinburg celebrates Juneteenth annually by acknowledging historical African American events that took place throughout the valley. 

One of those stops took place at Melissa Dotson Betts Elementary school. A beloved campus for the African American community, as it is named after a black female educator.

Mural of Melissa Dotson Betts

Loretha Laws, an African American educator, and mother said it is an honor to have representation throughout the valley.

“I am honored to be standing on a campus that is named after a black female educator,” said Laws. 

Laws told KVEO the evolvement of Juneteenth has brought a positive change to the community and her children.

“You just have to be part of the change,” said Laws.

According to Laws, support towards the African American community is a way of showing the young generation like her kids that they are welcomed anywhere they go.

Ernestina Cano who is the current principal at Melissa Dotson Betts Elementary said she is certain Juneteenth will be bigger especially with it becoming a national holiday. 

“I am very hopeful this is one of many and this will be the groundbreaking year,” said Cano.

However, Cano said Juneteenth should not just stay at Melissa Dotson Betts Elementary.

“Not just at Betts Elementary but throughout the community,” said Cano. 

Laws said it is important for people to know that Juneteenth is not just for the African American community to celebrate.

“Everybody is welcome, it is Juneteenth, it is not just for the black community,” said Laws.

According to Laws, throughout the years she has seen more openness from the community to learn about Juneteenth. 

“I moved here in 2006 and even though the city is working with one another to help spread the message about Juneteenth, there are still a lot of people that do not know,” said Laws. 

Both Laws and Cano hope everyone throughout the valley can take the time to learn about the many impacts African American people have had towards the valley. 

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