What Is Juneteenth and How Can You Celebrate?
Saturday is Juneteenth (a portmanteau of June and nineteenth), also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. What's the history behind it? Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, which would liberate slaves from the Confederate South. But it wasn't until June 19th, 1865 that the last of the slaves being held in seceded Texas were finally granted their freedom.
What Is Juneteenth?
Union Major General Gordon Granger made the historic June 19th announcement in Galveston, Texas, as he arrived with nearly 2,000 troops to gain control of the state for the U.S. government. “Juneteenth" has been celebrated ever since.
Is Juneteenth a Federal Holiday?
Juneteenth is now officially a federal holiday, thanks to President Biden's signing of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.
Juneteenth becomes the first federal holiday since Congress established Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. The state of Texas officially recognized June 19 as a public holiday in 1980. With organizations like Black Lives Matter bringing civil rights back into the fore by pressuring media to broadcast the continued injustices faced by Black Americans, Juneteenth saw another huge resurgence in recent years. Change.org petitioned for Congress to make Juneteenth a national holiday and more than 1.6 million Americans were on board.
With cities across the country recognizing Juneteenth with parades and public celebrations, Juneteenth is a great occasion to work toward ensuring freedom and equality for all across the country.
Here are some ways to show your support:
Shop from Black-owned businesses.
Take daily micro-actions toward social justice.
Stream a movie that gets Black history right.
What do you do to celebrate Juneteenth? Tell us @BritandCo!
Featured photo via Anna Shvetz/Pexels.
This article has been updated from a previous post.
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