Juneteenth, short for June nineteenth, promotes the appreciation of African American history and culture. It celebrates the final state to end slavery on June 19th 1865.
Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into effect in 1862, two and a half years prior, it was not enforced in all states. Texas, being further away from union troops and enforcement, served as a place where slavery could continue. Slave owners were known to have moved here to be able to evade the new laws. When Union soldiers finally landed in Galveston Texas with the news that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free, it marked the official end to slavery in the US.
Juneteenth has been celebrated by many since 1865. However, it still took over a hundred years for Texas to declare it as an official holiday in 1979. To this day, it is still not recognized as a national holiday (which may explain why many people do not know about Juneteenth or its history). We hope in the years to come, Juneteenth will gain the national recognition it deserves.
In the words of Michelle Taylor, “If America can celebrate Independence Day, knowing enslaved Black people weren't free, she should honor #Juneteenth as well.” - @feministajones
[Featuring artwork by Prince Eric Nichols IG: @princeericnichols]