CHICAGO - Cook County began a weeklong celebration Monday ahead of Juneteenth.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when a Union general read orders in Galveston, Texas stating all enslaved people were free according to federal law.
For the first time, Juneteenth is a paid holiday in Cook County.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined the City Council Black Caucus, the Black Remembrance Project and other elected officials on Monday to commemorate the holiday with a flag-raising ceremony in Daley Plaza.
According to the Sun-Times, events Monday through Wednesday will be held virtually. On Thursday, there will be a health and resource fair at Malcolm X College.
A Black culture week caravan march will leave from Malcolm X College on Friday and end at the A. Phillip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum.
The county will honor the holiday Saturday with March For Us 2021.
The march starts at 11 a.m. at 701 S. State St. and is scheduled to end at 50 W. Washington St. at 2 p.m.