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Juneteenth is a day of reflection — it serves as a reference point from which to honor, respect and appreciate the progress and contributions made by African Americans to this society. Tommy Meeks created Juneteenth 1865 to promote and cultivate knowledge and appreciation of African American history. Together, let’s celebrate freedom and achievement — while encouraging respect for all cultures. The wristband proceeds will help fund the 30-Year Rockford Juneteenth Celebration in 2020.
ROCKFORD JUNETEENTH 31 YEARS
President of ICRG (Inner City Reconstruction Group) and Founder of Rockford Juneteenth Celebrations, Tommy Meeks, created Juneteenth 1865 with the sole mission to promote and cultivate knowledge and appreciation of African American history. Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. It commemorates the date of June 19, 1865, when the last African-American slaves held in Confederate states were finally freed by the Union army. Six months later, the Thirteenth Amendment officially made slavery illegal throughout the entire United States. Juneteenth has been observed since 1866. June 19, 2021 marks 31-years of Rockford Juneteenth. Learn more about vendor opportunities, community award nominations, and the 2-day event below.
“Our ancestors went through a lot. As a nation, as a collective, we’ve never really acknowledged the 246 years of slavery, and the depth of it, nor the trauma it caused. They endured hundreds of years of slavery, and then another hundred years of discrimination. I created Juneteenth 1865 to educate young individuals and all individuals to grasp that they sacrificed so that we’d have a better life.”
— Tommy Meeks, President of ICRG (Inner City Reconstruction Group) and Founder of Rockford Juneteenth
Juneteenth Rockford Celebration Broadcast 2020
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Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
June 19, 1865 — more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves — Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to enforce the proclamation.
Union leader Gordon Granger told over 250,000 enslaved people of Texas that they were free. It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.