SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Today is Juneteenth. It marks an important day for African American history. It’s a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery, over a hundred and fifty years ago.

The Brethren at St. John’s Congregational church hosted their tenth annual Juneteenth celebration in Springfield. This year’s celebration highlighted the importance that gospel music and the church had on African Americans.

Guests enjoyed food, live music and an overall cultural experience. Robert Jackson of Springfield said, “We don’t know our past. We’ve got a long way to go.”

Awards were also presented to African Americans for their work in community. The Raymond A. Jordan scholarship was also presented to a high school graduate, who has advanced academically and socially.

Jordan is a former Springfield State Representative and member of former President Bill Clinton’s administration.