Rockford Juneteenth1865 Celebration
The longest running Juneteenth celebration in Illinois.
President of ICRG (Inner City Reconstruction Group) and Founder of Rockford Juneteenth Celebrations, Tommy Meeks, created Juneteenth1865 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 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 18, 2021, marks the 31st year of this event and the oldest known celebration in the state of IL.