Alice Allen and her neice Sydney attending the gala. Photos by Vivian Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN — Not even a thunderstorm could deter the citizens of Knoxville from attending the opening ceremonies of the 4th annual August 8th Jubilee.

Held in the historic Tennessee Theater, hundreds walked the red carpet, dined on heavy hors d’oeuvres, and spent the evening being entertained by beautiful music and dance before a private showing of the movie Black, White & Us: a Loki Mullholand not due for release until 2020.

The Celebration continued over the weekend with activities on the grounds of Knoxville College celebrating the slave ancestors buried there and culminated with an all day festival at Chilhowee Park.

The date is significant and celebrated as it was on August 8, that Governor Andrew Johnson freed his slaves in Tennessee. The date became known as Emancipation Day and ironically it was also used for legal separation as it was  the only day of the year that African Americans could come to Chilhowee Park until 1948.