AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – For some people, Juneteenth may still be a little bit of a mystery.
President Joe Biden made the day a federal holiday last year, and that’s why some people had Monday off work.
Historically, June 19 is the day when the last group of enslaved people belatedly learned they were free in Galveston, Texas.
Jennifer Curtis wants people to know Juneteenth is more than just a day off.
She’s the board chair of the Center for African American History, Art and Culture in Aiken.
“I think that it’s a day to think about a more complete history and recognizing what we all have and to make sure that we keep it,” she said.
She says it’s also more than just looking at one group of people, but looking at the whole picture
“That means celebrating freedom not only for African Americans who formed the basis of the slave trade from the 1600s to the 1800s but for everyone to take a look at history,” she said.
There were festivities over the weekend.
Some of the major events were organized by the Band of Brothers, like the sixth annual Juneteenth Festival in Augusta.
The founders say they were amazed by the number of people who came out.
“I would say it was beyond what we thought it would ever be because that’s kind of an understatement, but this really blew us back because it was truly amazing,” said Quinton Sowell, founder of the Band of Brothers.
He says Juneteenth is only on its way up from here.
“It’s only going to get bigger from here,” he said. “It’s only going to get bigger.”