ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – This is the second year Juneteenth was recognized as a federal holiday. It celebrates the day in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free and had been for two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation.

Dr. Jeffrey McCune Jr. is an Associate Professor of African-American Literature and Culture at the University of Rochester. He explains the observance of Juneteenth is critical to recognize the history and honor the legacy of the Black community – but the fight for freedom is not over yet.

“It looks like as if it had glimpses of freedom,” McCune Jr. said. “You look at a person like me who’s directing an institute at the University of Rochester, trying to make the black studies program a department. It looks as if we have already arrived.”