Lauren Luna | Urbans Swimming Hole: Emancipation Park
Oil on Canvas
Emancipation Park is the oldest park in the city of Houston. After the announcement of the freedom of slaves in Galveston, known as Juneteenth, African-American populations from all over Texas collected money to buy property dedicated to celebrating their new found freedom. In 1872, with the $1,000 pooled, Reverend Jack Yates and the Colored People’s Festival and Emancipation Park Association bought ten acres of open land, honoring their freedom and naming it as Emancipation Park. By 1918, it was acquired by the City of Houston, and because of Jim Crow laws was the only municipal park that African-Americans could use. Fast forward to current day, it now includes: a new swimming pools, walking trails, an entrance plaza, splash pad, playground, picnic areas, tennis and basketball courts, and a baseball field.