ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Nearly 156 years ago, African American slaves learned they were free. June 19th is known as Juneteenth.

The City of St. Louis’ first Black female mayor is marking Juneteenth as an official holiday in the city. Last year, Mayor Lyda Krewson proclaimed the day a holiday for city employees.

"We must recognize and thank those before us that continue to fight in spite of blatant oppression and laid the foundation for our liberation. This is our heritage and nobody, nobody can take that from us,” said Mayor Tishaura Jones.

The city will host the first Juneteenth Caribbean Heritage Walkathon in Forest Park on June 19. For more information on the event, visit here.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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