Juneteenth Originated in Texas, but Why Do We Celebrate It?
Juneteenth is coming up this Sunday, June 19th, and many don't even know why it's celebrated, much less where it originated.
For all intents and purposes, Juneteenth is a celebration of the abolishment of slavery in the United States. As a matter of fact, it's the oldest nationally celebrated remembrance of slavery ending.
Why do we celebrate Juneteenth annually?
President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which was the abolishment of slavery, on January 1st, 1863. However, it wasn't until June 19th, 1865 that the Union informed slaves in Galveston, Texas that they were free.
That day became known as Juneteenth and went on to be celebrated nationwide and is now a federally recognized holiday.
Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas, a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. [Juneteenth.com]
As a matter of fact, it's the oldest nationally celebrated remembrance of slavery ending.
While the day is a celebration, we must also use the day to learn from our own history in hopes we don't ever repeat it.
If you have a little extra time, I encourage everyone to actually read the proclamation, set forth by Lincoln. You can do so on the national archives website.
I think it's pretty cool that Texas has a direct connection to Juneteenth and I hope everyone reading this will have a greater appreciation for the day and equality for all humans.