Juneteenth or June 19, 1865, is considered the date when the last enslaved persons in Texas were freed. Although the rumors of freedom were widespread prior to this, actual emancipation did not come in Texas until June 19, almost two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863. And slavery in Delaware was not officially abolished until December, 1865.
Juneteenth symbolizes the end of slavery and the beginning of freedom. While its roots are in Texas, Juneteenth has become a day to celebrate freedom all over the United States.
Over twenty years ago, Adé Sharpley began the celebration of Juneteenth in Oberlin. Oberlin’s history of commitment to abolition and the cause of freedom makes Juneteenth the perfect holiday for this community.
On June 8, 2004, Oberlin City Council passed a resolution establishing Juneteenth as an officially recognized day of commemoration and celebration for the city of Oberlin. Juneteenth Oberlin was incorporated that same year to facilitate and coordinate the community recognition, celebration, promotion, and understanding of Oberlin’s officially declared and established Juneteenth holiday.