Juneteenth originated on June 19, 1865. U.S. Army Gen. Gordon Granger and other troops traveled to Galveston, Texas to inform slaves of their freedom. This day was two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted by former President Abraham Lincoln. He declared enslaved people free on Jan. 1, 1863.

The Emancipation Proclamation established that all slaves in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” However, it didn’t instantly free the slaves because it only applied to places under Confederate control. It didn’t apply to slave-holding border states or rebel areas already under Union control.

Today, Juneteenth is a day Black people and other ethnicities come together to celebrate African American freedom. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time to analyze where the Black community is socially and economically and plan for the future. The increase in awareness of Juneteenth signifies some improvement in America that’s long overdue. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities, and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today.

The effort to recognize Juneteenth comes after last year’s racial tragedies. Numerous companies now offer Juneteenth as a paid day off for their employees. A growing number of companies, from Nike to Uber, spoke publicly about the significance of the day and began recognizing it in some way. Many higher education institutions, including Berklee College of Music, have added Juneteenth as a paid holiday.

As the awareness for Juneteenth continues to grow, many cities have planned their own ways to celebrate. Here are some events happening on Juneteenth in South Florida:

City of Miami Beach Presents: Juneteenth Day of Freedom

Juneteenth Day of Freedom will take place at the rainbow eucalyptus tree at Pride Park on June 19 from 9 to 10 a.m. The event will also be streamed live on the City of Miami Beach Facebook page.

City of Miami’s 20th Annual Juneteenth Commemoration Celebration

The City of Miami and partners are hosting the 20th Annual Juneteenth Commemoration Celebration at Reeves Park in Historic Overtown from noon to 8 p.m. on June 19. This year’s theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity, Equity and Diversity.”

Juneteenth Miami Freedom Fry & Dance Festival

The third annual Juneteenth Miami Freedom Fry & Dance Festival in Miami Gardens starts at noon on June 19. It celebrates the American values of freedom, progress and unity signified by this historic day of emancipation. The family-friendly celebration promises live music, visual arts and poetry, as well as interactive arts and crafts for children.

Juneteenth Celebration Art Showcase

The Juneteenth Celebration Art Showcase at Clutch Couture Presents The Clutch Bar in Miami Gardens will feature a wide-range of vendors who will showcase their art catalog