For many in the United States, July 4th is used to celebrate the day the country gained its freedom and independence from England. However, we know that not all people gained freedom since the institution of slavery held countless Africans in bondage.
A common misconception is that when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, all enslaved people were automatically free. In actuality, on June 19, 1865, which was over two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the message of freedom finally made it to those it was meant to free.
Although Juneteenth celebrations were initially small and held on the outskirts of town due to the severe restrictions Jim Crow laws placed on recently freed Black people, the holiday has become more well known and honored throughout many Black communities.
Also consider taking part in the Juneteenth celebration happening at Portia Hines Park, 400 N 10th Street, June 19 from 12 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.