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Juneteenth - A time to celebrate, a time to remember

Celebrate Freedom - Juneteenth June 19 is a  national holiday celebrated as Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day. It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States and is also considered the longest-running African-American holiday. It has been called America's second Independence Day. 
 
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas - the last state in the Confederacy with institutional slavery - to inform the enslaved African Americans of their freedom. Even though it has been called Emancipation Day, the event actually took place more than two years after Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation
 
Upon learning of their freedom, the former slaves in Galveston responded with prayers of thanks and communal gatherings marked by feasts, music, and dancing. Celebrations of this date have continued ever since, beginning primarily with African American church congregations in Texas, but eventually gaining popularity throughout the nation. 
 
Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. It has come to be a joyful celebration of African American culture and heritage, and a memorial to the fortitude and accomplishments of slaves, former slaves, and their descendants.
 
Want to learn more about Juneteenth and the long-held cultural traditions of the holiday? Here are some additional resources to explore:
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture: https://nmaahc.si.edu/juneteenth 
 
 
The Houston Museum of African American Culture: https://hmaac.org/#