SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Sacramentans celebrated Juneteenth on Saturday, which was recently made into a federal holiday by the Biden administration.
“Making Juneteenth a federal holiday is significant. So therefore, I’m like, I want to come out with my people and be proud of who we are, as a Black cultural race,” explained Sacramento Tory Jermon.
“The slaves got freedom on Juneteenth. So, all the slaves were free,” explained 11-year-old Amala El.
The meaning of June 19, 1865 is ingrained in the younger generation with the holiday commemorating the day the last enslaved Black people in Texas were told the news of freedom years after the Emancipation Proclamation granted freedom to slaves in the southern U.S. states.
“People are becoming more awakened and just knowing the necessity of all people’s history and culture and why it’s just valuable,” explained Sacramento resident Andre Anderson Thompson.
“Juneteenth, us being able to come together, us being able to celebrate something that our ancestors did for us,” explained Juneteenth Arts and Educational Theater Coordinator Shirley Sanders.
The celebration filled William Land Park with live music, a showcase of art by Black artists and a lot of food for the soul.
Several hundred people came out Saturday for the city’s 18th annual Juneteenth celebration, but with awareness of the holiday being spread nationally, this year’s event seems to carry a deeper meaning.
“I think it’s due to all the racism issues that’s come up. And we’re now talking about it and communicating about it,” Jermon said.
“Just knowing that freedom starts within. We just have to continue to remember that, no matter all the things we’re facing in society,” Shirley said.