Growing the Voices of Our Future
The Westside Gazette Newspaper is honored to feature these editorial contributions made by local students.
On December 31, most African American churches have a watch night service. Watch Night, also called Freedom’s Eve, Christian religious service held on New Year’s Eve and associated, in many African American churches, with a celebration and remembrance of the Emancipation Proclamation (enacted January 1, 1863), which freed slaves in the Confederate states during the American Civil War. The tradition of Watch Night originated in the early 18th century in Protestant churches, when the church community began marking the occasion with a vigil to reminisce about the past year and to question the one to come. It was given new significance among African Americans on December 31, 1862. According to tradition, slaves in the Confederate states gathered in churches and private homes on the night before former President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was expected to go into effect. The slaves that were soon to be freed stayed awake all night and watched the night turn into a new day while waiting for news that the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued, therefore making all the slaves legally free.
The first meeting for our new junior photojournalists is Monday, January 13, 2020 • 6:30 p.m., at the New Mount Olive Baptist Church, 4th Floor.