Every year, communities across the nation gather to commemorate the day of emancipation from slavery in Texas—the last of all the states to abolish slavery—and that day is June 19th, 1865.
Prior to the celebration of Juneteenth, African Americans living in Central New York celebrated what is referred to as the “Emancipation Jubilee” around January 1, the day on which the Emancipation Proclamation technically took effect. The first Emancipation Jubilee held in Syracuse was on January 20, 1863. Speakers included Rev. Samuel May and Rev. M.E. Strieby of the American Missionary Association. Between 1865 and 1877, while similar celebrations took place in Central New York, the holiday did not become an annual one.
Juneteenth became recognized as an official holiday in New York in 2020.