We are coming out of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a time when we remember and honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military. However, we would be remiss not to acknowledge that one of the earliest Memorial Day ceremonies was held on May 1, 1865, in Charleston, South Carolina, by African Americans freed from enslavement. At the close of the Civil War, one of the first things that the emancipated men and women did was dig up the bodies of the fallen Union soldiers who had been held in a Confederate prison camp and worked for several weeks to give them a proper burial.  

Ironically, about a thousand miles away, African Americans were still enslaved in Galveston, Texas, despite the Emancipation Proclamation being issued on January 1, 1863. It took 2 ½ years before word reached Texas and the Confederate south to announce the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, to read General Order #3 announcing that “all slaves are free” on June 19, 1865.   

JUNETEENTH (a blend of the words June and nineteenth) celebrates the emancipation of all enslaved Blacks in the United States. June 19 is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 45 states, including Ohio.

This year Juneteenth Freedom Rides invites you to join them on Saturday, June 19, 2021, for a Juneteenth Bicycle Ride Around the Circle. This will be a casual family-friendly bicycle ride through the University Circle area. This bike tour will highlight the African American contributions and achievements right in our own backyard. Riders will meet at 928 Wheelock Road, Cleveland, OH 44103 at 10:30 AM. We will be adhering to current CDC guidelines to provide you with a safe outdoor activity.

Register as soon as possible given that participation is limited. You can register at:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/juneteenth-bicycle-ride-around-the-circle-tickets-153398483995

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