BOSTON (WHDH) - Residents and officials gathered across Boston to celebrate Juneteenth, two days after it was acknowledged as federal holiday.

Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of Black emancipation in the United States, commemorating the day in 1865 enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas found out they were finally free — two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. A year later, they celebrated a day of jubilee and other areas adopted the commemoration over the years.

“It’s about celebration, it’s about motivation and it’s about restorative justice,” said At-Large Councilor Julia Mejia.

“Today as we observe Juneteenth let’s continue to do the work collectively. Let’s do the work together to dismantle systemic racism, to eliminate barriers of opportunity, to celebrate the contributions of black people all across the world,” said Mayor Kim Janey.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday would help give that work more prominence.

“This celebration will fuel our fire for the advocacy that we know needs to happen at the city, state, and federal level,” Pressley said. “And this will create an important prompt, that when schools are closed, banks are closed, children will ask their parents … why?”

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