Remembering Why Juneteenth is What it is ✊🏼

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Juneteenth Celebration at Emancipation Park 1880. A group photograph of thirty-one people at a Juneteenth Celebration in Emancipation Park in Houston’s Fourth Ward.)

Freedom, the state of not being imprisoned, enslaved, restrained or hindered is a precious form of liberation to indeed celebrate. We celebrate Independence Day on July 4 in the United States of America to remember our independence from Great Britain in 1776. Around the world, throughout history many countries declared their independence from certain regimes. Today, June 19, we celebrate Juneteenth in the USA.

The celebration of Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day) commemorates the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Short for June Nineteenth, Juneteenth marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and to ensure that all enslaved people be free.

This month is especially momentous because two days ago, on Thursday June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris signed into law a bill establishing Juneteenth National Independence Day, as a federal holiday. Why is this bill beyond monumental and incredible? Because it is long overdue. How long? President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 declaring all enslaved people in the states that were engaged in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

This holiday observes the end to slavery in the United States of America and is considered the longest running African American holiday. The Emancipation proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 didn’t instantly free any enslaved people. It only applied to places under Confederate control. Please open your minds to understand why Juneteenth is a celebration of victory for all enslaved people then, along with their descendants since that time. This is why it is so important to remember and to never forget the significance of this observance. We don’t want to revisit or reenact a time that was so painful, divisive, and oppressive ever again, for anyone or any race of people. Click here to read more about this powerful, historical celebration.

President Lincoln, Slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation

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Juneteenth | DoDEA

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Juneteenth: Emancipation for Humanity

Slavery, Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham , Juneteenth

Image Source: North Amarillo Now

Slavery has remained one of the darkest clouds in the history of the United States and in many parts of the world. Slaves were not even considered people, but property like cattle. The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. This proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states (more than 3 million enslaved people in designated areas of the South) “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

Also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth commemorates the day Union General Gordon Granger along with 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas (a rebellious state) to take possession of the state in order to enforce the emancipation of its slaves.

I always wondered whether the last line of the poem, Defence of Fort M’Henry written in 1814 by poet Francis Scott Key, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave (better known in our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner) had any significance behind the writing and execution of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863? There are many resources for learning about the historical influences behind Juneteenth. You can find out more about this holiday and how it is celebrated 152 years later around the country, by visiting

Happy Juneteenth!