Connecticut celebrates Juneteenth on federal observance of day Texans were freed from slavery
Monday was the federal observance of Juneteenth, and many places across Connecticut spent the day celebrating the anniversary of the end of slavery.
Norwalk officials and residents gathered at Sen. Bob Duff's house this morning on the federal observance of Juneteenth 2022.
Juneteenth commemorates the day Union soldiers finally announced freedom for the last slaves held in Texas in 1865, nearly three years after then-President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Cynthia Griffin helped found Juneteenth of Fairfield County after she first heard about the holiday back in 1991. Over 30 years, Juneteenth in Connecticut grew from one small parade on Bridgeport's East Side to a federally recognized holiday with observances in most towns and cities.
"Just like Martin Luther King Day, it's not a day off, it's a day on. For us to remember what we have to do,” said Commissioner Jalin Sead.
Back in Norwalk, educators say the observance is a great teaching opportunity, while residents say it's also a reminder - of how far we have to go.
Gov. Ned Lamont signed a law last month recognizing Juneteenth as a legal state holiday in Connecticut starting next year.