INDIANAPOLIS — Juneteenth celebrations will be happening across the country this week.
It marks the day in 1865 when the last enslaved African Americans finally learned of President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. That officially changed the legal status of slaves to 'free' more than two years prior.
Here in Indianapolis, Hoosiers say they continue to celebrate the day as an avenue to teach history.
"It's important because it celebrates freedom, it signifies freedom," Chalmer Thompson, a resident who is celebrating Juneteenth, said. "We're still working toward it, and it is my hope that the more people learn about it, the more people will be for freedom, true freedom, not fake freedom. "
Juneteenth is the combination of the date June 19 and is also known as 'Freedom Day.'