Black and Latino Caucus to Celebrate Juneteenth
at State House


The event took place Wednesday, June 15, at 3 p.m. in the Bell Room on the first floor of the State House.

It featured remarks from Representatives and Senators, as well as spoken word performances, drumming and refreshments.

“This event is intended to be both celebrational and educational,” said Rep. Brianna Henries (D-Dist. 64, East Providence), who is cohosting the event along with Sen. Tiara Mack (D-Dist. 6, Providence). “It’s a joyful remembrance and recognition of the impact that freedom had on previously enslaved Black Americans, and also an opportunity to spread awareness about Juneteenth and what it means. This is an event for everyone, and we hope to engage many people who have never celebrated Juneteenth to spread knowledge about this holiday.”

Juneteenth is marked on June 19 around the country to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the states that left the Union. Although the Emancipation Proclamation took effect Jan. 1, 1863, slave owners in the Confederacy ignored it through the end of the Civil War in 1865. Even though the war ended on May 9, it wasn’t until June 19 that Gen. Gordon Granger, having assumed command of Texas in Galveston, issued an order declaring that all slaves in Texas were to be immediately considered free. The message was met with celebrations by the newly freed slaves, and the date became an annual commemoration of the end of slavery, celebrated all over the country.

The federal government first recognized Juneteenth as a federal holiday last year.