When is Juneteenth celebrated? This month is all about promoting equality and embracing people of different races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. We'll fill you in on the significance of Juneteenth and how you can show your support for the African American community.
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When is Juneteenth celebrated?
Juneteenth is celebrated on Saturday, June 19.
What does Juneteenth celebrate?
Juneteenth, which is also referred to as Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, Black Independence Day, and Juneteenth Independence Day, marks the end of slavery in the United States.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, two years into the Civil War, and it declared that all of the slaves living in Confederate states would be free.
Unfortunately, Texas did not adhere to the president's rules. Two years later, Union soldiers arrived in Texas on June 19, 1865 to make the announcement that all slaves were free. Since then, people have marked the pivotal moment in American history on June 19.
Why is it called Juneteenth?
A combination of June and nineteenth, Juneteenth recognizes the day that Major General Gordon Granger led Union troops into Texas to announce that slavery had been abolished.
According to the United States Department of Justice, the proclamation read: "The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer."
Is Juneteenth a holiday?
Although it is recognized by 48 states and the District of Columbia as a state holiday, it is not considered a national holiday in the U.S. A bill was introduced last year that would change that, according to NBC News.
"Our nation still has a long way to go to reckon with and overcome the dark legacy of slavery and the violence and injustice that has persisted after its end,” Senator Cory Booker, one of the officials who proposed the bill, stated in a press release.
The country saw a resurgence of Juneteenth observance during the Civil Rights movement. Additionally, after the horrific death of George Floyd in 2020 and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, our country began to take note of Juneteenth's importance.
What is being done to promote equality?
In addition to calling on Congress to pass Equality Act, President Joe Biden began the month with a call to end the racial wealth gap through new actions.
"We can’t build back better without tackling the systemic racism and disparities that have plagued our nation for far too long," he said in a tweet. "That’s why today, we’re taking additional steps to advance racial equity, narrow the racial wealth gap, and build Black wealth."
We can’t build back better without tackling the systemic racism and disparities that have plagued our nation for far too long. That’s why today, we’re taking additional steps to advance racial equity, narrow the racial wealth gap, and build Black wealth. https://t.co/7mP3mvhSgcJune 1, 2021
In an effort to combat racism, the president also visited Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 1 to mark the 100th anniversary of the horrific massacre that claimed 300 African American lives in 1921. He's the first sitting president to acknowledge this violent act and issue a proclamation for a day of remembrance.
We can’t just choose to learn what we want to know — and not what we should know.We memorialize what happened in Tulsa 100 years ago so it can’t be erased.June 1, 2021
How can I support Juneteenth?
Events such as talks, workshops, and festivals are taking place throughout a variety of communities. You can also explore ways to give back to organizations that do work in Black communities.
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