WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — The U.S. officially recognized “Juneteenth” as a federal holiday this year 156 years after the slaves were freed.
“History isn’t always glamorous so its important we give the full picture,” Jessica Fontaine, Director of Storrowtown Village Museum, said.
Storrowton Village Museum wanted to educate the public on how Juneteenth came about, but also remind people that history lives on through the families of many Black Americans.
“When the slaves were not freed. We still have people who are descendants of that who live in our country today, they may live in New England.” Jessica Fontaine added.
“In the time we have together I want to unpack the history of Juneteenth.” STCC African American History professor, Anthony Guillory moderated the lecture “The significance of Juneteenth in History and Present”.
“When we talk about the EP, we often say the EP 1863 is when enslaved african people became free. Thats not true.” Guillory said.
Guillory also took time to debunk some myths, including about the civil war. So this was just as much a history lesson as it was a way to recognize Juneteenth.
“Juneteenth commemorates the reading of the EP to the enslaved population in Galveston Texas. That’s where the last group of slaves were freed, on June 19th, 1865,” Guillory.
He hopes people will remember these moments in time so that this piece of important history is never forgotten.