Juneteenth is an annual holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This holiday has been celebrated by African-Americans since the late 1800s. This year, this holiday resonates in a new way, given the changes and protests across the U.S.
A few facts about Juneteenth:
1.Did you know the June 19 announcement came more than two years after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which occurred January 1st in 1863. 250,000 enslaved people in Texas were already free, but they were not aware of this.
2.Some say the federal government delayed the announcement to Texas to get more cotton production out of the enslaved. Another reason is that Lincoln's proclamation was not demanded in the rebel states.
3.It was challenging to celebrate freedom when your life was surrounded by oppression. Still, Juneteenth celebrations took place during the era of Jim Crow laws.
4. The Poor People's March planned by Martin Luther King Jr. was purposely planned to coincide with Juneteenth. In fact, the march brought attention back to Juneteenth. Those involved took the celebration back to their states.
5.Although states recognize Juneteenth, it's still not a national holiday. Senators are currently working on legislation to make Juneteenth a national holiday.