Why Juneteenth Matters
Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom, marking the day when news of the emancipation finally reached those enslaved in the deepest parts of Texas.
The Emancipation Proclamation came into effect on January 1st, 1863 under President Abraham Lincoln. Despite this, African Americans were still enslaved in the Confederate State of Texas. On June 19th, 1865, Major General Gordan Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and delivered the important news that those enslaved were finally free.
He announced General Order No. 3, reading:
“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
While Juneteenth celebrates the liberation of the last enslaved African Americans, it is also a time for education. Juneteenth is a celebration of progress, but there is still much work to be done today to ensure that all Americans are free and equal.
Join us in celebrating the emancipation and continue uplifting the Black community by taking some time to educate and reflect on this day. Here are some resources to learn more about Juneteenth:
Videos and Documentaries