Two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln declared enslaved Africans free with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, 250,000 enslaved Texans heard of their freedom for the first time. Texas was the last state to receive word that slaves had been "freed." This marked the start of a new era in American history. June 19th, or Juneteenth, has been declared a holiday in 47 states. Michigan officially recognized the holiday in 2005. It was a celebration of freedom from bondage for the African American community. Though African Americans still celebrate today, it is with the harsh realization that the Black community still experiences distinct forms of bondage.