Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated on June 19 that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Across the country, the day is marked with events and parades.
What is Juneteenth?
On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger came to Galveston, Texas, to inform a reluctant community that President Abraham Lincoln two years earlier had freed the slaves and to press locals to comply with his directive.
Why did it take so long for the news to get to Texas?
There is no one reason why there was a 2½-year delay in letting Texas know about the abolition of slavery in the United States, according to Juneteenth.com. The historical site said some accounts place the delay on a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news, while others say the news was deliberately withheld.
Despite the delay, slavery did not end in Texas overnight, according to an article by Henry Louis Gates Jr. originally posted on The Root. Gates said after New Orleans fell, many slavers traveled to Texas with their slaves to escape regulations enforced by the Union Army in other states.
The slave owners were placed with the responsibility of letting their slaves know about the news, and some delayed relaying the information until after the harvest, Gates said.
Where does the name “Juneteenth” come from?
Get the Daily Briefingnewsletter in your inbox.Start your day with the morning’s top newsDelivery: DailyYour Emailjuneteenth, which is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a combination of “June” and “nineteenth,” in honor of the day that Granger announced the abolition of slavery in Texas.
How to celebrate Juneteenth?
Many celebrate by attending festivals, concerts, parades, barbecues, by calling attention to modern inequality or by supporting black-owned businesses.Through her media consulting agency, T. Marie Consulting, Tiandra Robinson created “502 Black Business Week.”This week, more than 40 Louisville black-owned businesses are offering deals, promotions and discounts.
June 19 marks a special celebration for communities around the United States. Celebrated as Juneteenth, — a combination of “June” and “nineteenth” — the holiday recognizes when the United States ended its historic practice of slavery, legally and in the real world. In this sense, Juneteenth is a day for commemorating the “freedom” of all people living in the United States.
Whether you grew up celebrating Juneteenth or have never heard of it, here’s what you need to know about how the holiday came to be and why it matters to so many people.
How did Juneteenth get started?
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863; it was intended, many were told, to free all slaves. But in August 1862, President Lincoln wrote an open letter to Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, in which he described his actions as intent to preserve the Union rather than to abolish slavery.
How do people celebrate Juneteenth?
In 1866, the year after Granger’s order, the first Juneteenth anniversary celebration happened. Since then, celebrations in certain regions of the United States have continued the tradition of honoring this important day. In 1872, a group of former slaves put together $800 and purchased 10 acres of land in Houston, Texas, for the city’s annual Juneteenth celebrations, and they named the space Emancipation Park, where Juneteenth celebrations are held even now. Year after year since, small pockets of the United States have erupted in celebration of the day when everybody in the U.S. was declared free, while the day has gone largely unnoticed in the majority of the country.
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