Reflecting on Juneteenth

The oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

We'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge the men and women who have persevered over the decades in the fight for freedom and equality for our black brothers and sisters in America and all over the world. And still do to this day. As such, we are all taking the day, June 19th, for learning and reflection, in addition to celebrating the significance of this holiday.

History:
This day commemorates Union Army General Gordon Granger's reading of federal orders in the city of Galveston, TX in 1865, proclaiming that all enslaved persons in the U.S. State of Texas were now free. The Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them almost two and a half years earlier and the American Civil War had largely ended with the defeat of the Confederate States in April, yet Texas was the most remote of the slave states with a low presence of Union troops, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent.

Festivities and Food:
A range of activities were provided to entertain the masses, many of which continue in tradition today. While rodeos, fishing, barbecuing, and baseball are just a few of the traditional Juneteenth activities taking place today, Juneteenth almost always focuses on education and self-improvement. Thus, often prayer services and assemblies take place with speakers and community elders called upon to recount the events of the past, honoring the work of equality that continues. Read more about celebrations at Juneteenth.com.

Learning Resources

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