Juneteenth in Rockford Helps Remind Us Where We Came From

Sounds of gospel, hip-hop, spoken-word poetry and other performances filled the Sinnissippi Music Shell on Thursday to celebrate the anniversary of the end of slavery in America.

For 24 years, Tommy Meeks has organized the annual festivities to commemorate Juneteenth.

Juneteenth commemorates the day — June 19, 1865 — when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, to declare the Civil War ended and all slaves free. The Confederacy didn’t comply with the Emancipation Proclamation — signed 2½ years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln — until the soldiers arrived to enforce the order.

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Resource: RRStar