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The family of Longview pioneer Victoria Freeman will gather to celebrate her life at the park named after her.

Deone Washington, Victoria Freeman’s grandson, said family and friends will meet at Victoria Freeman Park in Longview on Aug. 18 to eat and socialize. The event starts at noon and is geared toward Freeman’s family, but the public is invited to join.

“My hope is people will come socialize with us and have a good time,” Washington said.

Freeman moved to Longview in 1923 and was one of its first black residents. She was a civil rights activist and lifelong advocate for education. She forced Longview schools to integrate in the 1920s. Throughout her life in Longview, she worked to improve the black neighborhood she lived in, which had dirt roads and lacked sidewalks well into the 1950s.

Freeman died in 1994 at age 100. Washington is one of Freeman’s 23 grandchildren.

Washington said he organized the event to bring the family together, some who have never met. The date doesn’t have any significance, Washington said. He just picked a day to do something to represent his grandmother.

“I want to see how far this community has come in all these years,” Washington said.

Washington said they family will have food, and anyone who wants to bring a dish can.

The event is all about having a family reunion in his grandmother’s park, Washington said.

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