RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Sunday, June 19 marks the official Juneteenth holiday, but plenty of people were out celebrating the day on Saturday and learning about history.
“It’s not only freedom for our formerly enslaved ancestors, but the outlawing of slavery meant freedom for all,” Earl Ighmes, with the North Carolina Museum of History, said.
The day commemorates the day back in 1865 when any remaining slaves in the United States were freed.
“We want to remember and we want to acknowledge those people who were before us, our ancestors, we want to acknowledge the work they’ve done,” Sarah Moses, an organizer, said.
One particular event was held at the Dorothea Dix Park, and that wasn’t just because it had available space. The land is historic, as historians say troops who helped liberate people were stationed right on this property.
“They were literally kept at this site, and so this is a very significant space and time where we celebrate freedom for all,” Ighmes said.
And for some, being on the land and celebrating Juneteenth, hits close to home.
“Our senior ancestor was enslaved on this property,” Yvonne Hunter-Sanders said.
While the day dates back to the 1800s, people our team spoke with say it’s all about looking ahead at a brighter future for everyone.
“Our family can grow into any position, any job, the sky is the limit, and we are so excited,” Hunter-Sanders said.
Ighmes says the North Carolina Museum of History has a lot of resources for anyone wanting to dive deeper into the history of Juneteenth.