Many people are completely unaware that we celebrate Juneteenth every year on June 19th. But, what exactly is Juneteenth? Well, on June 19, 1865, the slaves in Galveston, Texas were finally told that they had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation that was signed 2 years earlier. It took that long for the word to travel by horseback (in fact, by the mounted US Colored Troops). Many states and cities celebrate what they might call Emancipation Day or Freedom Day on different days because that is when they got word. Unfortunately, Galveston, Texas was the last to get word, so we recognize the complete end of slavery with a Juneteenth celebration.
But, you can’t just celebrate that ending without recognizing that what happened on paper in 1863 didn’t really free African Americans. We have spent the past 150 years continuing to face struggles, challenges, discrimination, racism, and inequality. Slavery, by another name. Yet, there are countless examples of how our ancestors made it through everything thrown at them. It is important to learn your history. No matter what you are currently going through or what is yet to come, you will find a strong African American that had an experience and overcame it. You can use this information as a guideline for you and our survival.
We are the strongest and smartest people on this earth! I know this for a fact. Do you?
Learn about Juneteenth, attend a Juneteeth event, research any topic for the related African American history and be inspired.
Our upcoming Movie Night on June 16th, features the underground Black film industry of the 1930’s – a prime example of what we need now to counter #OscarsSoWhite. The Juneteenth Festival on June 17th, has a parade, entertainment, re-enactors, dialog and a marketplace event, and our History Exhibits on June 21st feature the National Museum of African American History & Culture and Little Legends – children that have made history.
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