Juneteenth is celebrated as “Liberation Jubilee.”
An event called Juneteenth celebrates the abolition of slavery in the United States. It is celebrated on June 19th and marks the day in 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed enslaved African Americans of their freedom. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, it was not until two and a half years later that the news of freedom reached the enslaved people in Texas. An opportunity to pause and consider the legacy of slavery and the current fight for racial equality is Juneteenth.
The history of Juneteenth dates back to the end of the Civil War, when Union forces defeated the Confederate army, and the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Although the Proclamation declared that all slaves in Confederate states were to be freed, it did not immediately end slavery in the United States. It was not until the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in December of 1865 that slavery was officially abolished.
The news of freedom was slow to reach enslaved people in Texas, due in part to the state’s isolation from the rest of the Confederacy. It was also due to the fact that slave owners in Texas had moved their slaves to more remote areas to avoid Union forces. The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with General Order No., 3 all slaves are free, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States which was read by General Granger upon his arrival in Galveston on June 19, 1865. Former masters and slaves are treated with complete equality in terms of rights and property rights, and their prior relationship is transformed into one between an employer and hired labor.
Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas in 1866 and soon spread to other parts of the country. The holiday was an opportunity for African Americans to celebrate their freedom and to remember the struggles of their ancestors. Juneteenth celebrations often included parades, barbecues, and other festivities, as well as speeches and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Today, Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 47 states and the District of Columbia. It is a time to reflect on the history of slavery and the ongoing struggle for racial equality. In recent years, there has been renewed interest in Juneteenth, as people across the country have come together to protest police brutality and systemic racism. Many see Juneteenth as a way to continue the conversation about racial justice and to work towards a more just and equitable society.
Juneteenth is also a time to celebrate African American culture and history. Many Juneteenth celebrations include music, dance, and other cultural activities. It is a time to honor the contributions of African Americans to the United States and to recognize the ongoing struggle for equality.
In recent years, there has been increased recognition of Juneteenth as a national holiday. In 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday, the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established in 1983. The recognition of Juneteenth as a federal holiday is an important step towards acknowledging the history of slavery and the ongoing struggle for racial justice in the United States.
While Juneteenth is an important holiday, it is also important to remember that the struggle for racial justice is ongoing. The legacy of slavery and systemic racism continues to impact the lives of African Americans and other people of color in the United States. Celebrating Juneteenth is one way to remember the past and to work towards a more just and equitable future.
The end of slavery in the United States is remembered on Juneteenth, a holiday. It is a time to remember the struggles of the past and to work towards a more just and equitable future. Juneteenth is also a time to celebrate African American culture and history, and to recognize the ongoing struggle for racial justice. As we celebrate Juneteenth, let us remember the legacy of slavery and work towards a more just and equitable society for all.