Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates when the last enslaved Black Americans were finally freed. Though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth,” by the newly freed people in Texas. Juneteenth marks our country’s second independence day.
Interested in learning more? Spend some time with the articles and resources below:
- An original ‘Juneteenth’ order found in the National Archives (Washington Post)
- So You Want to Learn About Juneteenth? (NY Times)
- Why all Americans should honor Juneteenth (Vox YouTube channel)
- Growing Up with Juneteenth (New Yorker)
- Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, BLM co-founder and other Black leaders on what Juneteenth 2020 means (USA Today)
- 13th (Netflix YouTube channel)
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Amazon)
- National Museum of African American History & Culture
Happy Juneteenth, all, from the Hamilton Lugar School!