Juneteenth has been known across history as a liberation celebration for the black community in America, representing the day when the Union Army announced to the slaves on June 19, 1865 that they had been emancipated.

While this day has passed by for years without mainstream attention, that changed when President Biden decreed the day as a federal holiday a year ago.

“It is something that is extremely important because…it's something that has gone quietly by for so many years," said Faculty Advisor of Rising Black Men Ed Tillett.

"For so many years, it’s been this historic moment that hasn’t been talked about and in recent history it has taken on a new life of its own.

It’s encouraged people to dig deeper into the history of America as well as dig deeper into the importance of…this mark in time that our nation takes a turn.”

Tillett explained that while history points towards the Emancipation Proclamation to the start of freedom for the black community, Juneteenth was the actual day that the country let go of its grip on the injustice against the community, allowing for a plethora of times to celebrate black history and liberation.

“We know so many historic moments and historic decisions that have been marked and I think this is one of those things that our nation is acknowledging the experiences of black history," Tillett said.

We have black history month, which is great, but so often black history is forced into one month and I think making this a national holiday… is taking it a step further for people to understand black history is year round.”

Tillett said that while it's a painful memory to remember the history of slavery, it's still joyous that the community can gather to talk of the history of where people have been in this nation and how they can move forward together.

Even while growing up surrounded by his culture, Journalism sophomore Caesar Roundtree had never heard of Juneteenth until the story had came to light during 2020 when race was on the forefront of many issues and then when it was made a holiday.