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County to Honor Four Community Leaders at the Free Annual Juneteenth Celebration in Germantown

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will host the County’s 22nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration tonight, June 15, at the BlackRock Center for the Arts located at 12901 Town Commons Drive in Germantown. Doors open at 6:00 pm. and the program will begin at 6:25 pm.

Everyone is invited to this free event, which commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Union Major General Gordon Granger announced the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas, one of the last outposts of slavery in the United States.

The event includes a special ceremony, entertainment and barbecue dinner. The 2018 Annual African American Living Legend Award will be presented to four individuals who dedicated their lives to service, advocacy and selfless acts of kindness to their community:

Award recipients include:

Sol Graham – A minority business leader, Sol Graham, serves as role model and gives back to the community by supporting the development of our youth through mentoring and scholarships. In 1983, Sol founded Quality Biological, Inc. As a minority business pioneer in the biotechnology field, he launched his Montgomery County-based firm with a second loan on his house and grew it into a multi-million-dollar-per-year success story, supplying products to bioscience and biotech companies. He has received the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minority Small Business Award of Excellence and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Minority Business Contractor Award of Excellence. In 2013, he was inducted into the Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame;

Arthur Holmes, Jr. - Major General Arthur Holmes, Jr. retired as a Commanding General after serving almost four decades in the U.S. Army. He earned several awards and decorations such as the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal. Holmes served a seven-year stint with the Montgomery County Planning Board, serving as a commissioner, and then vice-chair and chairperson. Between 2002 and 2004, he served as Director of Go Montgomery! – a Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPWT) agency devoted to implementing the County’s Master Plan in all transportation regions. In October 2004, he took over the helm of DPWT. Holmes is involved with many boards and organizations including Omega Psi Phi Fraternity;

Samuel C. Hamilton – An attorney, Samuel Hamilton is widely engaged in many civic activities and memberships. He has provided pro bono public defender service for more than 20 years. Hamilton was honored in 2000 with the NAACP Foot Soldier’s Award for going above and beyond the call of duty in support of civil rights. Hamilton generously donated his legal expertise to the NAACP on a pro bono basis.

Harvey Zeigler - A pioneer in civil rights and social activism, Harvey Zeigler led the struggle for integration and equality for African Americans in Montgomery County. Zeigler fought discriminatory practices and advocated for fair opportunities for everyone. Zeigler led numerous protests to integrate various facilities, including local movie theaters, the Kenwood Country Club, two amusement parks and other public facilities. His commitment to civil rights, community service, and local activism earned his induction into the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame.

The Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological & Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) winners of the Montgomery County NAACP Branch will provide entertainment throughout the evening.

Following the ceremony, a barbecue dinner will be provided by Montgomery County’s Department of Correction and Rehabilitation and its Culinary Work Release Program.

A special showing of the acclaimed movie “Marshall”, which tells the inspiring story of young Thurgood Marshall will conclude the evening. The film looks at the achievements of a young Marshall whose legal genius in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, paved the way for the most impactful victory in the quest for freedom and equality in the history of the United States since the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights and the County Executive’s African American Advisory Group coordinated the program.

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