Juneteenth is an annual celebration of the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War and the freedom of all enslaved people in America, even though this was 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1979, Texas became the first state to make it an official holiday. Several others followed suit and it is now considered the longest-running African American holiday. It became a federal holiday in 2021 and is celebrated in many other nations. Many people in this country see Juneteenth as the real Independence Day or a second Independence Day, as well as an opportunity to acknowledge the fragility of freedom, and ensure that freedom is always protected. Juneteenth provides an opportunity to host discussions on systemic racism, racial justice, and actions to address these issues. Importantly, it is a time to celebrate the resistance of enslaved Africans to secure their freedom and emancipation while acknowledging the lasting impact of slavery on our society.
If you would like to find out more about Juneteenth, you can go to: https://nmaahc.si.edu/juneteenth