On Juneteenth, 250,000 slaves found out they were free

Crowd will gather at Mayfield Drive-in in Chardon to celebrate June 19, 1865

On Juneteenth 250,000 slaves found out they were free

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - On Friday, many in the African American community will celebrate Juneteenth.

It came about in 1865 when 250,000 slaves learned they were freed. There is a local event coming up and 19 News talked with its organizer, Larese Purnell.

“It’s a day of freedom, liberation and celebration,” Purnell said.

On June 19th, 1865 General Gordon Granger of the Union Army read General Order Number 3 to slaves in Texas.

It said in part: “This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slave.”

From that proclamation Juneteenth was born.

“Right now with all the unrest that we have, not just locally, but nationally, I felt that we needed to do something positive that really celebrated our heritage our history by bringing people together in an environment where we can still socially distance,” Purnell said.

Friday night hundreds will come to the Mayfield Drive-in Theater in Chardon, turn their radios on and listen to and watch the recent acclaimed Movie, Just Mercy.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Cleveland Cavs announced that June 19 will be observed as an annual paid holiday by the organization.

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