On June 19, 1865, news of full emancipation finally reached enslaved individuals in Galveston, Texas. This is noted to be the final announcement to the enslaved following the end of the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862.
For generations, individuals noted this day (also called Emancipation Day or Freedom Day) for decades. Large cities, such as Atlanta and Washington DC, have held large celebrations with parades and festivals for years. The COVID pandemic held back many celebrations in 2020, but organizers nationwide will celebrate in cities large and small in 2021.
In Springfield, MO, there will be two celebrations. Tina Bennett, a member of the OCH Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force, was a founder of the celebration in 2005 and is continuing as an Equity voice. Given the unrest in 2020, a collaborative celebration by all for freedom is welcomed and supported.
OCH Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force