Lanett seniors prepare for Juneteenth celebration

Published 2:00 pm Saturday, June 18, 2022

LANETT — The mayor, recreation director and a city council member from the City of Lanett talked about Saturday’s Juneteenth celebration to Lanett Senior Center participants on Thursday.

Mayor Jamie Heard said that he’s hoping for a big turnout for what he hopes will be a fun day for everyone. It will be taking place between 2 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. EDT on Saturday in the downtown area. A fireworks show will follow the Lanett Mill site.

Senior Center Manager Sandra Thornton told the seniors that she likes to call the place they come to every day the turn-around center.

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“That’s [because] good things are taking place here all the time,” she said.

Recreation Director Trent McCants said that a big day is planned for Saturday and invited everyone who can make it to be there.

Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the U.S. commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It’s also an event to celebrate African-American culture. Originating in Galveston, Texas in 1865, it has been celebrated in many parts of the U.S. for many years.

Council Member Angelia Thomas said the Juneteenth is a time for people of all races to believe they can accomplish anything in life if they set their hearts and minds to it.

“I was a teen mom,” she told the seniors. “I was 14 when I had my first child. People were always telling me that I would never amount to anything. I wanted to prove them wrong.”

She and husband Terrence Thomas have been together for 27 years. They have three grown sons, Marctavious, Devuntae and Terrance Jr. Thomas has had a real estate license since 2006 and recently earned a broker’s license.

“I’m always telling people that they don’t have to settle for anything,” she said. “Try hard to do your best in life and remember that God is good. He will help you if you put your trust in Him. I love seniors and being around them. I want you to know that I will always listen to you. If I can help you in any way don’t hesitate to contact me.”

Heard thanked Thomas for what she brings to the council. He thanked other members of the council for their working together as a team.

“Sandra and Trent have been doing great work in this building,” he said.

“It’s always good to hear people’s stories,” Thornton said. “I’ve always admired Angelia Thomas, but I didn’t know she had a child at 14. I know she had to grow up fast in dealing with that.”