Are you familiar with Juneteenth? Over the last couple of years, members of our staff have called our attention to this historical event that rightfully deserves its own national holiday.
Juneteenth (June 19th) marks official end of slavery in the United States, and so in many ways, should really be our national “Independence Day”. News of the Emancipation Proclamation, which became official on January 1st 1863, did not reach Texas (whether intentionally or not) until two and a half years later, on June 19th, 1865, when over 250,000 enslaved black people were finally freed.
Our nation’s history of black slavery is gruesome, abhorrent, and still very much with us today. Juneteenth marks the very beginning of our progress towards liberty and justice for all, and we have a LOOOONG way to go.
To celebrate Juneteenth is to celebrate our collective freedom and humanity. It’s about time that we made it a national holiday.
For more on the history of Juneteenth (thank you, Sawyer!), see:
To support organizations doing the work of racial justice, see: