“Juneteenth is a day on which honor and respect is paid for the sufferings of slavery. It is a day on which we acknowledge the evils of slavery and its aftermath. On Juneteenth we talk about our history and realize because of it, there will forever be a bond between us.”
Juneteenth – a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth”, the date of its celebration – is a day set aside to celebrate the last of the slaves in America being told of their freedom. This happened on June 18, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.
There are many ways to celebrate the day, often within community. If you are not attending a festival or cookout, you can talk to your children about slavery in America and how excited those must have been to learn of their freedom.
We believe in learning, teaching and talking about history. Learning from the mistakes of our past makes us better citizens.
“Every year we must remind successive generations that this event triggered a series of events that one by one defines the challenges and responsibilities of successive generations. That’s why we need this holiday.” – Al Edwards, Texas Democratic Representative