Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19th because it is the day that slaves in Texas were told they were free, on June 19, 1865. Even though slavery had ended 2 years prior with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, unfortunately, the slaves in Texas did not know they had been freed because cruel and greedy slaveowners withheld the information from them. Offical word of freedom came to different cities and states at different times. However, we were not free until we were all free!
After all of the slaves were free, Juneteenth became a major holiday for them with cookouts, outdoors activities, and an opportunity to focus on education and self-improvement.
Juneteenth today in modern times is now, again enjoying recognition and phenomenal growth within communities and organizations. Many major groups and organizations such as the Smithsonian and the Henry Ford Museum have started sponsoring Juneteenth events.
A quote from Juneteenth.com states, “Juneteenth today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect of all cultures.”
Juneteenth is a day, week or month to celebrate our freedom. It is a time to appreciate African American history and culture by taking the day off of work if that is possible, and remember the freeing of our ancestors. It is a time of community and solidarity. It is a time to let freedom ring among ourselves today and to remember that we are free!
“From every mountainside, let freedom ring!” Dr. MLK Jr.
We rejoice even more when we remember the Words of our Savior Jesus, Yeshua when He proclaimed, “The Spirit of the L-rd is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18
Celebrate Juneteenth!! Celebrate Freedom!!
Sylvia A. Thomas+
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