July 4th represents the Declaration Of Independence and the birth of the United States, but there is also another day that represents freedom for African Americans that is often forgotten. That day is June 19th, also known as Juneteenth. On this day we celebrate the abolition of slavery in Texas and other Confederate states.
Unfortunately, a lot of people did not learn much about this life-changing day of freedom in social studies class. What is Juneteenth? Who Freed the slaves? How do we celebrate it properly? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here is everything you should know about Juneteenth:
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth or June 19, 1865, is considered the date when the last slaves in America were freed. On that day General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with the news that the Emancipation Proclamation had freed slaves. Freed Texan slaves began an annual celebration of June 19 on the first anniversary of the day, and the holiday eventually began to be known as Juneteenth.
Did Abraham Lincoln free the slaves?
Yes, Abraham Lincoln did play a huge part in the slaves being freed. On September 2, 1962, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring that as of January 1, 1963, all slaves in the Confederate states will be freed. The Proclamation freed 3.1 million slaves. However, this did not apply to apply to those slave-holding states that did not rebel against the Union. As a result, about 8000,000 slaves were unaffected by the provisions of the proclamation. In the end, it took a civil war to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to formally outlaw slavery in the United States.
Ways To celebrate Juneteenth?
There are many ways to celebrate Juneteenth. Some people have cookouts in the park, some organize local skits and others throw parades. If all else fails, you can take a trip to your local library to read some books about slavery.
Why We Celebrate Juneteenth?
Juneteenth represents the end of slavery. It serves as a reminder of the disfranchisement and inhumane treatment black people have had to suffer through in order to have the same rights and privileges that White Americans were given at birth.