This year, we are celebrating Juneteenth as an official holiday marking the end of slavery throughout the United States. Although Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, many enslaved people in Confederate-controlled areas, including 250,000 in Texas, were not legally free until 1865. On June 19th of that year, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced the official end of slavery in the state and the country. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth” by the newly freed people in Texas. Texans have celebrated Juneteenth since 1866 with cookouts, parades, prayer meetings, and other community events. It became a state holiday in 1980 and has since become a holiday in 45 other states and D.C.
Here are some resources to learn more about this important milestone in our history:
Visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture website, which is rich in resources on this topic: https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/celebrating-juneteenth
To learn about observances in Boston, visit: https://www.bostonusa.com/events/holidays/juneteenth/
The website of the North Shore Juneteenth Association also is a resource for commemorations in that region: https://north-shore-juneteenth-assoc.constantcontactsites.com/
Read all about it – browse this bibliography of books for children and teens here: https://coloursofus.com/10-childrens-books-celebrating-juneteenth/