MAHONING VALLEY, Ohio (WKBN) – The Valley is recognizing Juneteenth with many offices closed.
The holiday has only been recognized at the Federal level for one year. Post offices, most banks and government buildings will be closed.
Juneteenth is not a new concept though. For generations, Black Americans have been commemorating the end of slavery in the US.
The signing of the emancipation proclamation wasn’t the end to slavery but the catalyst.
Many states in the south didn’t comply until after the Civil War.
History was made on June 19th, 1865.
“When the slaves in Galveston, Texas finally realized that they were free. Almost three years after the emancipation proclamation was signed and so, this is a freedom celebration,” Danielle Wilder, the Buhl Park celebration emcee.
Troops came to Galveston to announce the end of the Civil war two months after the confederate states surrendered.
Fast forward to today, people across the country held celebrations.
In the valley, many cities were hosting large public events honoring Juneteenth for the first time.
I spoke with those leading the way to celebrate the holiday.
“Educate your children at home at an early age. We can do this. You know, nobody that this color of our skin does not matter,” said Lakisha Harrison, a Buhl Park celebration coordinator.
“It is important that the young people know that we’re not just here vending and selling things and playing games and having a cookout. It means something,” Wilder continued.
Children today are growing up knowing Juneteenth and its purpose.
Organizers say they are proud and humbled to be the first hopefully many celebrations in the years to come.