What Is Juneteenth
Juneteenth, also known as Black Independence Day, Emancipation Day, and Jubilee Day is a federal holiday in the United States honoring the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It's also a day dedicated to honoring African American culture. Since 1866, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in many parts of the United States, with its origins in Galveston, Texas. The celebration of Juneteenth takes place on the anniversary of Union Army General Gordon Granger's. The term "Juneteenth" is a combination of the words "June" and "nineteenth," and it refers to the holiday's date. President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law on June 17, 2021, making the day a nationwide holiday.
The History of Juneteenth
The former slaves of Galveston, Texas, who were now free kicked off the festivities. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring that all enslaved individuals in Confederate states fighting the Union "will be then, thenceforward, and forever free." Although the Emancipation Proclamation emancipated slaves in the South in 1863, it was not fully implemented until after the Civil War ended in 1865 in many locations. The Emancipation Proclamation, however, did not immediately free any enslaved individuals. The proclamation only applied to Confederate-controlled regions; it did not apply to slave-holding border states or rebel areas that were already under Union control. Many enslaved persons fled behind Union lines as Northern soldiers pushed into the Confederate South. On June 19, 1865, Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and his forces arrived in Galveston with the news that the war had ended and that the slaves had been freed. More than two months had passed since Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered in Virginia to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. “The people of Texas are advised that, in compliance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,” Granger announced in General Order No. 3. This entails perfect equality of personal and property rights between former owners and slaves, and the previously existing connection between them becomes that of employer and hired labor.” The newly freed people began commemorating Juneteenth in Galveston the next year. Since then, it has been commemorated across the country and beyond the world. Concerts, parades, and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation are among the events. Juneteenth's historical legacy demonstrates the importance of never giving up hope in the face of adversity.
When is Juneteenth & How Should You Celebrate:
Juneteenth has been deemed "America's second Independence Day" and is recognized as the "longest-running African-American holiday." The third Saturday in June is traditionally marked and observed as Juneteenth in order to commemorate the end of slavery as well as to honor African American culture and achievements. Celebrations honoring the abolition of slavery, according to historian Mitch Kachun, have three purposes: "to advocate, to teach, as well as to commemorate." Which is why religious services including prayer, speeches, educational programs, family gatherings, and festivals featuring food, dance, and music are all common features of Juneteenth celebrations in the United States.