A holiday with Texas roots may finally be becoming nationally celebrated after the Senate unanimously passed a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday on Tuesday.
What is Juneteenth?
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas, the end of slavery in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. Your read that correctly. TWO YEARS after slavery was legally ended by President Lincoln, the slaves in Texas were finally told. Find out more about the history here.
Because of this delay, many African Americans, especially those in Texas who grew up with the knowledge of this delay, celebrate a Black Independence Day on June 19th (Juneteenth).
In 1980, Juneteenth became a Texas state holiday. In the decades since, every state but South Dakota came to officially commemorate Juneteenth, but only a handful of states observe it as a paid holiday.
Now that the Senate has passed the bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, the bill must be passed in the house and then signed into law by President Joe Biden before it is official.
Juneteenth Near You
Juneteenth is coming up this weekend, and with more states opening for crowds there are more Juneteenth celebrations than we can count. Do yourself a favor and search for the events near you, then show up to celebrate true freedom.
Here are a few that the BlessedBeatz staff has spotted:
Juneteenth Unity Fest Live stream
A detail of "Absolute Equality" | Courtesy of Juneteenth Legacy Project