William Marshall

Photo by John Ford / Courtesy of William Marshall

It’s one of America’s oldest holidays, and among its most historically resonant: On June 19, 1865, the last enslaved African Americans learned they were emancipated. Juneteenth has been celebrated every year since, and 46 states and the District of Columbia now recognize the holiday – including, as of just weeks ago, Pennsylvania.

This year’s Juneteenth is also notable for other reasons, said William Marshall, who has organized the weekend of activities since 2013; he's also the founder of local advocacy group Stop the Violence.