PADUCAH, Ky. - People in the Local 6 region are wrapping up celebrations surrounding an event that changed the country.
The event marks President Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. It freed slaves but the news didn't reach Paducah until nearly eight months after it was signed, on the eighth of August.
Sunday marked the last day of a weekend where families and friends joined together to celebrate history. Organizers hosted a concert inside Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church.
Lucille Shannon says it's a celebration and a reunion.
"We talk about old time, we laugh together, we cry and we hug and kiss and have a good time," Shannon said. "I've been coming a long time. I wouldn't take anything for it."
Despite the heat young and old filled the pews during the salute to gospel music. Something Robert Coleman says is fitting for the last day of this celebration
"Gospel music has been one of the basis of black religious experiences and so to continue this music is a reminder and inspiration," Coleman said.
He's the Board Chairman and believes the 8th of August isn't just about the African American community, it's about an event that changed the entire area and country. The freedom of African Americans
"It began with a combination of commemoration and emory and the celebration," Coleman said. "It's a reminder and an education process combined."
Shannon agrees, saying the praises given this weekend are a testament to how important this celebration really is for people.
"After all of the party and letting our hair down and being loose we come to worship and praise the Lord and that's what's the most important thing."
Also this year, the first African American graduates of the Paducah School System were honored.