CINCINNATI — The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in downtown waived admission fees to celebrate Juneteenth.
Juneteenth is a day that commemorates when the last slaves in Galveston, TX were freed two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in the confederate states.
“Juneteenth is a symbol of the ending of that war and the beginning of freedom, equality, for African Americans and so it begins with Juneteenth, but it is not an ending point,” said Christopher Miller, senior director of community engagement and education at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
Miller said when people come to the Freedom Center they can expect a learning experience that’s going to challenge and inspire them.
He noted Juneteenth was an important milestone in America’s history.
“When we look at Juneteenth and talk about Juneteenth being about freedom we must understand that there are many milestones along the process, now Juneteenth is just one of those milestones,” he said.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is celebrating #juneteenth2022 with free admission.— Jessica Hart WCPO (@JessicaHartTV) June 19, 2022
Visitors can see a real slave pen that was recovered from Mason County in Kentucky. @WCPO pic.twitter.com/oqBqzdRq8G
Miller has personally been celebrating Juneteenth since 2006. He said Juneteenth is an opportunity to bring more awareness to Black history.
“It’s important for us to have an understanding of those realities of the truth and for us too create better communities,” Miller said. “We are all benefiting from those who were enslaved, we are all benefiting from those who fought for justice that fought for freedom, and so it’s our responsibility, we are held accountable for knowing these stories.”
He noted there is a lot people can learn from the Underground Railroad. Miller said it was a movement of civil disobedience and is a part of our nation’s social justice history.
“I think it’s important to be an advocate. To be a co-conspirator for change, for freedom and for justice, but also too it’s an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of our forebears,” he said.