You may (or may not) be wondering why we celebrate a holiday called Juneteenth. On January 1, in 1863 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Two long years later, on June 19, 1865, the news reached enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas.
Texas was one of the last strongholds of slavery in the United States. The holiday commemorates the official end of slavery.
It wasn’t until the 20th century in which the holiday became widely celebrated among Black people. In lieu of the recent protest of police brutality, systemic racism, social and human rights issues, companies such as Twitter, Nike, NFL and even the state of New York and Virginia have made announcements to make Juneteenth a paid holiday.
Now- many believe this is an attempt to be on the good end of the movement, and do the bare minimum at helping Black people fight for justice and equality, while others believe that this is a step in the right direction. However you feel, if the holiday is going to be celebrated, it should be done so with good intent, and an accurate amount of knowledge, and understanding of African American history.
Reported on The New York Times, “Juneteenth may mark just one moment in the struggle for emancipation, but the holiday gives us an occasion to reflect on the profound contributions of enslaved black Americans to the cause of human freedom. It gives us another way to recognize the central place of slavery and its demise in our national story.”
As we continue to fight for equality AND freedom- today we honor, celebrate, and remember the ones who came before us.
Happy Freedom Day, the fight continues.
happy juneteenth! if you aren’t educated abt the holiday and why it’s important, watch this cartoon to help pic.twitter.com/19PUypx7Au
— matilde loves ale (@ghostintbsl) June 19, 2020