Today we observe Juneteenth. While we’re taking this day as a day of rest (and so should you!), we’re also remembering the real reason for the Holiday. Go inside to meet the Grandmother of Juneteenth and get the actual factuals of what this day is truly about.
Despite the fact the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863 which called for slavery to end in its physical form, it took over two years for all slaves to learn they were, in fact, free. Without modern means of fast communication in the 1800s, town criers and local and traveling federal officials were the main sources of information. This means that whatever occurred in our nations Capitol, it would take time for the news to travel thousands of miles to places like Texas.
On or around June 19, 1865, nearly 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. That federal army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth” by the newly freed people in Texas, and is why “Juneteenth” is historically a Holiday that has been mainly celebrated in Texas – until recently.
Last year, the Biden Administration signed into law a bill passed by US Congress calling for June 19th (or the following Monday if the 19th falls on a weekend) to become a National Holiday. While this opens the doors for commercialism and businesses who leverage fake-support of black freedom into sales and revenue, it’s important we ALWAYS keep the true meaning of Juneteenth in the forefront and continue to pass the message. Watch Ms. Opal Lee, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Beyonce and more tell the story below:
VIDEO: Beyonce narrates the story of “The Grandmother of Juneteenth” Ms. Opal Lee during the CNN #Juneteenth broadcast!
Happy Juneteenth! pic.twitter.com/PdiBInoQVy
— The Beyonce World (@beyonceW0RLD) June 20, 2022
President Obama and The White House also shared their takes on Juneteenth:
We’re not free until we’re ALL free. Celebrate the freedoms you do have today, folks! Happy Juneteenth!