A Brief History of Juneteenth
On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves in Confederate territory were to be freed. However, it wasn’t until two and a half years later, on June 19, 1865, that Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that the Civil War had ended and all slaves were free. This announcement came more than two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia, and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. Newly freed men rejoiced, originating the annual “Juneteenth” celebration, which commemorates the freeing of the slaves in Texas. Today, Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states, and it was recently declared a federal holiday in the United States.
Ways to Show Support
Here are some ways to celebrate and show support for Juneteenth:
- Educate yourself and others about the history of Juneteenth and its significance. Share what you learn with your family, friends, and colleagues.
- Attend local Juneteenth events and celebrations. Many cities and towns across the country hold parades, festivals, and other events to commemorate the day.
- Support Black-owned businesses. Make a conscious effort to support Black-owned businesses in your community, especially on Juneteenth.
- Donate to organizations that support the Black community. Consider donating to organizations that work to promote racial justice and equality.
- Amplify Black voices on social media. Use your platform to amplify Black voices and share resources and information about Juneteenth.
Juneteenth is a day to celebrate freedom and reflect on the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equality. By educating ourselves and others, attending local events, supporting Black-owned businesses, donating to organizations, and amplifying Black voices on social media, we can show our support for the Black community and honor the legacy of Juneteenth.