It’s official! As of this week, June 19 will be recognized as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. A long time coming, Juneteenth is the first federal holiday established since Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
While this is a momentous day in history, there is still a lot of work to be done to dismantle systemic racism in our country. We’re encouraging everyone to use this day as a reminder to celebrate Black culture through education.
THE HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH
Over a century and a half ago, June 19th became our country’s second Independence Day, marking the end of slavery in the United States before the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. We’re taking this moment to shed light on the history behind the day that changed the lives of so many.
Although Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it wasn’t implemented in places still under confederate control. In fact, it took two more years until freedom was granted to the Confederate state of Texas. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger announced to the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas that the Civil War had ended and that they were free.
HOW IT'S CELEBRATEDToday, some celebrations take place among families in backyards, and some cities hold larger events like parades and festivals with residents and local businesses.
LET’S USE OUR VOICES TOGETHER
Let’s work together to continue this momentum by staying informed and pushing for equality. Below are some helpful accounts we love to follow to stay informed: