GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A group called “I Can Breathe and I Will Speak” held a Juneteenth event in Gloversville Monday. A locally-filmed documentary was screened, and BBQ dinners were available.

The event was held North Star Cafe on 33 North Main Street. Organizer Lashawn Hawkins said Juneteenth is still new to many in her Gloversville community, but she sees the event growing bigger in the future.

“I feel it’s important to start in my community since this is where I live. Everybody, I feel, should be accountable for where they live,” Hawkins said.

Juneteenth, commemorates June 19, 1865, the date that Union soldiers brought news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas. This was two months after the Confederacy had surrendered in the Civil War and about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in Southern states.

President Joe Biden signed a law last year designating Juneteenth as the 12th federal holiday in the United States.