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Our Story

San Joaquin Juneteenth Foundation celebrates the historical signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, January 1, 1863, which holds that all persons held as slaves within a State or designated part of a State shall be then, henceforward, forever free, changing the legal status of 3.5 million enslaved people who were Black from slave to free.


The Emancipation Proclamation paved the way for the 13th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, which formally abolished slavery in the United States of America. This news was celebrated two and a half years later on June 19, 1865, with respect and remembrance called “Juneteenth” - a combination of the words “June” and “nineteenth.”


San Joaquin Juneteenth Foundation was formed in the City of Stockton on June 19, 1976 to commemorate the historical ending of slavery. Our major goal of the Juneteenth Festival is to examine the cultural heritage of formerly enslaved African-Americans and their descendants through the arts, music, food, dance, and education.

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