SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – People gathered in Springfield Wednesday to celebrate Juneteenth.
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1863, freeing slaves across the country. But, the last slaves in Texas weren’t notified until two years later, on June 19, 1865.
The news was cause for celebration, and African American communities across the country celebrate ‘Juneteenth’ to this day.
In Springfield, Arise for Social Justice held an event with face painting, music, and food.
Arise for Social Justice Executive Director Tanisha Arena told 22News, “June 19 is really a celebration of this freedom for African American folks. And it’s nice to be able to come together in a space that is not a funeral, or around a tragedy, but a celebration of who we are and how we can grow and support each other.”
Arise for Social Justice also invited other community organizations like Mocha and Science for the People to set up booths at the event, and educate people on services in our area.