Juneteenth: Learn about its history, why it is celebrated, and its connection to African Americans?


When President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the clouds did not move, the sun sent no rays of freedom, and the bond of slavery that had lasted nearly a quarter of a century was not broken. With these words, author Gillian Brockle began her Article in the Washington Post, commenting on the decision that U.S. President Joe Biden signed Thursday to make June 19 an annual holiday to celebrate the end of slavery.

Juneteenth: Learn about its history, why it is celebrated, and its connection to African Americans?

The law makes 'Jonathan', a word that links the name Juneteenth to the date June 19, a holiday. Although there is no exact date that can be considered the time of the liberation of slaves in the United States, the author cites the American historian Amy Morel Taylor who argues that this does not prevent us from appreciating Lincoln's role in this context.

Taylor says Lincoln's proclamation of emancipation is "etched in our national memory." On January 1, the slaves were free.' But the truth is more complicated, Bruckell said, because millions of Americans won their freedom between 1861 and 1865 at a slow pace that was interrupted by the Jointintence Proclamation and the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, so she believes millions of stories can be told about an era that "took years in the eyes of many." She adds that had it not been for the crucial role played by slaves in freeing people from slavery, the American Civil War would have ended without the abolition of slavery.

What is Juneteenth and why is it celebrated?

After the Union Army captured New Orleans in 1862, more than 150,000 Confederate slaves emigrated to Texas. Enslaved black Americans in Texas remained in brutal slavery, illegally and immorally deprived of basic freedoms and dignity for three years, even after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Major General Gordon Granger and Union Army troops entered Galveston, Texas, more than two years after President Lincoln declared all slaves free, to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865, and to free the last enslaved blacks in Texas.

why is it called juneteenth

It is an opportunity to celebrate human freedom, reflect on the dangerous and enduring legacy of slavery, rededicate ourselves to ending the systemic racism that continues to plague our society, and strive to fully deliver on our promise to America and all Americans.

How is June 19 celebrated?

According to Juneteenth.com, the first celebrations consisted of prayers and family gatherings, followed by annual pilgrimages to Galveston by former slaves and their families.

In 1872, a group of African American pastors and businessmen from Houston purchased 10 acres of land and created Emancipation Park for the annual celebration of Juneteenth. Today, some celebrations take place in family courtyards, where food is an integral part, while in some cities, such as Atlanta and Washington DC, larger events are held, including parades and festivals involving residents, local businesses, etc.

While the 2020 and 2021 celebrations have been largely limited due to the coronavirus pandemic, some cities are stepping up their plans this year. Galveston has remained a well-attended venue for the Decade over the years, says Douglas Matthews, who has helped coordinate events for more than two decades.

Following the creation of a 5,000-square-foot mural in Galveston last year, the 2022 celebration will include a banquet, poetry festival, parade, and picnic. In Atlanta, organizers will hold a parade and music festival at Centennial Olympic Park, while similar events are planned in Baltimore, Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Why did Juneteenth become so important?

In May 2020, thousands of people across the United States took to the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis. The names of Mr. Floyd, Mrs. Taylor, Mr. Arbery, Mr. David McAtee and others became a rallying cry for change across the country and in fact revitalized the Black Lives Matter movement.

Change came in waves. In Minneapolis, authorities banned police from using handcuffs and chokeholds and forced police to intervene and report any unauthorized use of force. Congressional Democrats introduced sweeping legislation to combat police abuses and racial discrimination. The bill is the broadest police intervention lawmakers have proposed in recent times.

Companies around the world have voiced support for the Black Lives Matter movement and have suspended or fired employees who mocked Floyd's death or made racist comments.

In April 2021, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of two counts of murder in connection with Floyd's death. But two years later, many city residents say real change is slow.

Mark Anthony Neal, a researcher in African-American studies at Duke University, said comparisons can be made between the end of the Civil War and the turmoil that ensued in the country, adding that that time was like a "pause."

"The stakes are a little different," Neal said.

"I think Juneteenth is a little different now," he said. "It's an opportunity for people to take a break after the incredibly rapid changes we've seen."

Is it OK to say Happy Juneteenth?

Simply say 'Happy June Day!' The easiest way to wish someone a happy June day is to send them a message and wish them a happy day. Like Black History Month and other important anniversaries for black Americans, it's important to recognize it as an American holiday, even if you don't celebrate it. 

  1.  Donate to black trusts and mutual assistance organisations.
  2.  Support black businesses. 
  3. Learn the true history of the 19-year-old's day celebration.
  4. Advocates the recognition of the day of nineteen years as a holiday.

why isn't juneteenth a national holiday?

In 1980, Texas became the first state to declare the 19th day a holiday. All 50 states and the District of Columbia recognize the day in some way.

Following protests against police brutality across the country in 2020, efforts to achieve federal recognition of the Nineteenth Year gained momentum, and Congress quickly passed legislation in the summer of 2021.

The measure was passed in the House of Representatives by 415 votes to 14. It was opposed by Republicans, some of whom argued that it would create confusion and force Americans to choose whether to celebrate freedom by race.

On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed the bill, making the 19th day the 11th holiday recognized by the federal government. At the White House ceremony, Biden gave special recognition to Opal Lee, the activist who walked from her home in Fort Worth to Washington, D.C.com the age of 89, calling her 'the grandmother of the movement to make June 19 a federal holiday.

The law came into force immediately, and the first day of June was celebrated the following day (the holiday was celebrated on 18 June because 19 June was a Saturday).

Some of the pictures from the Juneteenth celebration