Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Jubilation Day, marks the day enslaved people were free in Texas on June 19, 1865. The Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all enslaved people in Confederate States had been in effect since 1863. But because Texas was isolated, it was the last state to actually receive the news and comply.
Early Juneteenth celebrations doubled as political rallies, helping those who had attained freedom understand their voting rights. Now, 155 years later, people in cities and towns across the U.S. continue to mark the occasion with celebrations.
In light of nationwide protests against police brutality and white supremacy, more states and companies are honoring Juneteenth as an official holiday.
Juneteenth is an important part of America’s legacy reminding us that “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.”
Let’s celebrate, educate, and activate by taking the time to support and build up the black community in the following ways:
African Americans have celebrated Juneteeth for decades with large family gatherings and parades. You can celebrate by simply normalizing its day of celebration: greet people with a “Happy Juneteenth,” acknowledge the day in emails and social media, or join an online virtual celebration.
Take the initiative to learn more about African-American history and culture, systemic racism, and white privilege. Share your resources with friends and family, and acknowledge the work that still needs to be done within black communities in order to implement change.