Celebrating Juneteenth

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Juneteenth is the day that commemorates the end of slavery in the confederate states. The word "Juneteenth" is a combination of "June" and "nineteenth," which is the day in 1865 when the Union Army established authority over Texas. Photo Credit: D Jerome Smedley of D Jerome Smedley Photography. Make up Credit: La’Toya Nicole The Face Slayer. Models from L to R:Vee Altovise, La’Toya Nicole Fletcher, and CoCoa J’Pan

Other names for Juneteenth

Emancipation Day
Freedom Day
Juneteenth Independence Day
Jubilee Day

The Facts

Juneteenth is a federal holiday celebrated yearly on June 19. It commemorates the day when federal troops, led by Union General Gordon Granger, entered Galveston, Texas to share the news that the Civil War had ended and Black Americans were free.

Though the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 and declared in 1863, troops would not arrive in Galveston for more than two years. This was also two months after the end of the Civil War in general. As noted by the National Archives, “the proclamation declared ‘that all persons held as slaves’ within the rebellious states are, and henceforward shall be free.’” https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured-documents/emancipation-proclamation

It’s important to note that freedom was not an immediate thing for all enslaved individuals. As noted by History.com, “In some cases, enslavers withheld the information until after harvest season…”
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.history.com/.amp/news/what-is-juneteenth

Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday by President Joe Biden on June 17, 2021. Throughout the years, it has been celebrated with song, dance, festivals, sporting events, readings of Black American works, lectures and cookouts.

La'Toya Nicole
La'Toya Nicole
CoCoa J'Pan
CoCoa J'Pan
Vee Altovise
Vee Altovise
The poem “We Rose,” by Kristina Kay, has been called one of the “official poems” of Juneteenth:

WE ROSE

(Official Juneteenth Poem)
From Africa’s heart, we rose
Already a people, our faces ebon, our bodies lean,
We rose
Skills of art, life, beauty and family
Crushed by forces we knew nothing of, we rose
Survive we must, we did,
We rose
We rose to be you, we rose to be me,
Above everything expected, we rose
To become the knowledge we never knew,
We rose
Dream, we did
Act we must
Kristina Kay,
We Rose © 1996, Juneteenth.com

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