The Celebration of Juneteenth


Juneteenth created image Schools did not teach Juneteenth when I was growing up (including college). In fact, I only heard about the celebration at a history conference. I was intrigued by the little-known celebration also called Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, or Black Independence Day.

History of Juneteenth

Texas was the last slave state to set its slaves free. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 needed union troops to enforce the order. Union troops were few in the then-remote state. On June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger proclaimed the slaves in Texas free. Most Texas slaves heard about their freedom from Granger rather than Lincoln.

African Americans celebrated the first Juneteenth in Galveston, Texas in 1866. They celebrated with prayer meetings, singing of spirituals, and wearing of new clothes to symbolize their newfound freedom. Some consider it a second Independence Day.

This celebration spread to other places with speeches, educational events, family gatherings, picnics, festivals, food, music, dancing, etc. In 2021, it was declared a national holiday. Every June 19th, we now celebrate the end of slavery.

Need for Juneteenth

Many feel the US has yet to come to terms with over 250 years of slavery and oppression of African Americans. Juneteenth serves as a reminder that justice and freedom for African Americans has been delayed in the United States. Even after the Civil War, black rights were limited with Black Codes, segregation, Jim Crow, lynching, and voter suppression.

Juneteenth also serves as a reminder that slavery and oppression should always be in our country’s past. The US can improve by including all races and peoples. We can do this by celebrating diversity and kindness.

Rather than ignoring our history, we should acknowledge and teach the horrors of slavery and its legacy. Teaching will help ensure that slavery will not happen again. It can also help lessen the legacy of discrimination and bigotry.

Previous articleOur Summer Bucket List
Next articleLet’s Leave Space For Dads To Be GREAT Dads!!!
I am married to a wonderful cook named Bret(Thank goodness because I love to eat but not cook). I have two boys that started Kindergarten and Pre-school this year. I am thankful they are fed at school as they try to eat us out of house and home. We love to hike, game, swim, watch Bluey and anything with Superheroes and read. Currently, I teach history at Southern New Hampshire University online. Summer and Fall are my favorite seasons as I love the heat but also watching the leaves change and the nights turn crisp. Halloween and Christmas are my favorite holidays, and my house is decorated from September to the New Year.