The Emancipation Proclamation was a document that began the process of freeing Africans from chattel enslavement in the United States.

But, as we celebrate the anniversary of the proclamation, we must also remember that many enslaved Africans were not told of their freedom until years after its signing. This is why we gather for Juneteenth, a celebration that commemorates June 18 and 19, 1865.

June 18 is the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of the Africans still being enslaved — two years after the signing of the proclamation.

The Buffalo Juneteenth Festival is the third largest in the country. Its mission is to “actively preserve and promote the broad spectrum of African American heritage through educational and cultural activities that will benefit the community as a whole.”

Enjoy the 41st consecutive “Juneteenth” all this weekend in Martin Luther King Jr. Park with The People’s Station 93.7 WBLK!

Buffalo Juneteenth from the past: