City of Springfield marks Juneteenth holiday with Governor

City of Springfield marks Juneteenth holiday with Governor

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – Across the country, communities are coming together to celebrate Juneteenth – Governor Maura Healey taking today to visit Springfield and address the work still needed when it comes to equality and equity.

“It’s an important day to celebrate the joy, the strength, the resilience of the Black community. We also recognize and recommit to everything we can to address racial disparities that exist still to this day,” said Governor Maura Healey.

State and Springfield city leaders gathered gathered on the steps of City Hall to raise the Juneteenth flag, before moving inside due to today’s hot weather.

The events honoring the symbolic end of slavery, when the final enslaved people in Texas were freed back in 1865, over two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

“I think about Massachusetts and I think about in particular, western Massachusetts, where so much of the abolitionist movement, so much of the anti-slave movement started right here,” said Healey.

She said she was honored to spend the day in a part of the state that was so significant during the Civil War and recognized some of the many famous faces to have passed through western Mass. during that time, including Frederick Douglass.

A year before it was federally recognized as a holiday, Juneteenth became a state holiday in 2020 by Governor Healey’s predecessor, Charlie Baker.

Springfield’s mayor, Domenic Sarno and other political leaders, hosted the event, following it with a special music celebration where freedom, hope and unity were central themes.

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