Juneteenth celebrates the end of legal slavery in the United States in 1865 after the Civil War. On June 19, 1865, a Union General arrived in Galveston, TX, and re-issued Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Thus the name “Juneteenth.” Texans have been celebrating Junteenth ever since.
The Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival traditionally begins with a flag parade. Some 70 flags represent both the African regions (now countries) from which Africans were captured and enslaved and the countries to which they were transported during the 300+ years of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
The 2019 Festival has moved beyond carrying and displaying the flags to presenting the music and art that is both diverse and common to the ancestors of Africans enslaved in the Caribbean and North-South-and-Central America.