WHAT IS JUNETEENTH?
Today marks Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States. And though many of us may just be learning about the significance of this holiday, it’s important to take time to recognize its place in American history and reflect on the long struggle for equal rights – and how far we have to go.
THE HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH
Juneteenth, short for “June Nineteenth,” is a celebration that signifies the day federal troops marched into Galveston in 1865 to take control of the state and free all enslaved people. Since then, Juneteenth (also referred to as Emancipation Day) is a day for African Americans to honor their culture and history, while also giving non-Black people an opportunity to learn about the day’s significance.
Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday in 1979 and is considered to be the oldest celebration commemorating the end of slavery in America. Now, 47 states and Washington D.C. recognize the holiday.