How are You Honoring National Freedom Day?
- What is Juneteenth?
- Should Juneteenth Be a Nationally Recognized Holiday?
- How To Celebrate Juneteenth
- Remembering Juneteenth
- Learning Resources and Non-Profits
Juneteenth is a celebration that honors the belated liberation for Black people in America. Despite being the longest running African American holiday, it is not yet considered a national holiday.
Let’s get into the history behind Juneteenth. Short for June 19th and also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, it celebrates the emancipation of individuals who had been enslaved in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln on January 1st, 1863, it took two and half years for this to reach Texas- and even then, not all enslaved people were immediately freed.
The Proclamation stated that “enslaved people in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free,” in reality no one was instantly freed, due to enslavers withholding information.
Fast forward to June 19th, 1865: federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved individuals were truly freed. The troops’ arrival came to solidify the terms of the Emancipation Proclamation.
It’s important for us to consider the larger ways in which Black people’s liberation and freedom have been delayed throughout history. When we discuss Juneteenth, we also acknowledge the ongoing systemic oppression and institutional racism of Black people in America. When we celebrate July 4th, or Independence Day, Black Americans were not free. In repositioning June 19th as the day of Freedom, we are upholding the truth that “nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”
"Nobody is free until everybody is free." - Fannie Lou Hamer
Every year, Juneteenth is honored by bringing families together, holding parades, and bonding through food. These celebratory moments are all ways to enjoy freedom, familial roots, and show appreciation for African American culture.
Luckily, Juneteenth is gaining more awareness across the nation through communities who continue to advocate for social justice causes. Despite not being taught in our history classes, Juneteenth is a monumental day in American history and should be marked as a revolutionary one.
Not only is Juneteenth an important day in American history, but it also sheds light on the deep rooted barriers that African Americans face and encourages us all to collectively learn from and support each other more.
Here at Lovers, inclusivity and education is of the utmost priority and significance. It is of utmost priority and significance. In our ongoing efforts to continue educating ourselves, here are some organizations and resources if you are looking to donate or learn more: