Juneteenth Committee Chair Sister Sharif and Imam Sidney Sharif, a lecturer at the Tucson 42nd Annual Juneteenth Festival, discusses the upcoming event, which includes performances, dances, food and historical presentations.

The Emancipation Proclamation- an official move to free the slaves - was made on Jan. 1, 1863.

However, slaves in Galveston, Texas, did not get the word until June 19, 1865, and it is from here that a new celebration was born that would eventually come to be known as Juneteenth or Freedom Day.

Residents in Southern Arizona are holding the "Tucson 42nd Annual Juneteenth Festival" and organizers hope everyone from the community can join the events.

Sister Sharif is the committee chairperson. She says the activities will include music, food and dancers but will also serve as an opportunity for education and awareness in areas like voter registration and health.

Imam Sidney Sharif - Sister's husband -will be a lecturer at the festival and he'll focus on the importance of studying important chapters of United States history, such as the events of the 1860s.

"Every American should have some idea or some genuine interest in their history, regardless of their race, ethnicity or nationality," Imam Sharif says.

"And how do we go from where we are now to where we really want to be," he adds.

Tucson's version of Juneteenth is being held on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Donna Liggins Center, formerly known as the Northwest Neighborhood Center.

It is located at 2160 North 6th Avenue which is south of Grant Road. The festival is free and open to all.