Houston Cyclists Embark on the Historic Emancipation Trail Ride from Galveston

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Doogie Roux
After celebrating Juneteenth, for the first time as a federal holiday, nearly 50 cyclists gathered at the historic Reedy AME church in Galveston early Sunday morning. Led by Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and the Precinct One Bicycle Program Director, Fernando Martinez, the group set out to retrace the footsteps of newly freed slaves who moved to Houston and surrounding areas after Gen Gordon Granger of the Union army delivered news that all slaves were free on June 19, 1865. In January of 2020, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee authored a bill asking for a federal study of the Emancipation Trail. The group made stops along the way at various murals and historical locations such as the 1867 Settlement Historic District, the only Reconstruction-era African American community in Galveston County, and the Butler Longhorn Museum. The ride ended at Emancipation Park, the oldest park in Texas which was purchased by freed slaves. (Photos by Doogie Roux)