Not yet a Federal holiday, Juneteenth is recognized by 47 states and D.C. We recognize the importance, history and culture of this holiday, as we reflect upon our nation’s past.
On June 19th, 1865 – two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation – soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that enslaved people were now free.
Why did it take so long for the last slaves to be freed? The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on border states due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. With the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to achieve freedom for all slaves.
The first Juneteenth was celebrated by newly freed Black men and women in 1866. Today, Juneteenth celebrations range from backyard picnics to more formal events like parades and festival gatherings.
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10 Little Known Black History Facts – PBS
13th – Available to Watch on Netflix
13th is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. The film explores the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States.
Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise – Available to Watch Free on PBS
In Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and a dynamic cast of people who shaped these years, Gates travels from the victories of the civil rights movement up to today, asking profound questions about the state of black America—and our nation as a whole.
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More Ways to Get Involved – Visit hellajuneteenth.com