History Of Juneteenth - Thursday June 17
The United States federal government has recognized June 19th, or Juneteenth, as a holiday commemorating the day in 1865 when the very last slaves living in Texas received word that they had been freed two and a half years earlier from President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth has been celebrated in the Black community for generations, but is now gaining awareness across the nation.
Dara Kennedy and Maya Shwayder takes us through the history of Juneteenth and its ties to the Western Massachusetts region.
Historian and orator, Ms. Rebecca Willoughby takes us on an intriguing journey the role that the black church played during and after slavery. One of those churches, now called St. John's Congregational Church, the “Free Church” in Springfield, was built by slaves and white people decades before emancipation.
William Harris is the great-great-great grandson of Christopher Thompson. Thompson was one of the free Black men who volunteered in the Union Army and traveled to Texas to spread the word of emancipation.
JerriAnne Boggis, Executive Director of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire, explains how Juneteenth is traditionally celebrated for those who are new to the holiday.