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Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is a holiday celebrated every year on June 19th. This holiday has been celebrated by Black Americans since the late 1800s.

About two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, all enslaved people were still not free. On June 19, 1865, Union forces landed in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and enslaved Black Americans finally had their freedom. The Union’s announcement in Texas put the Emancipation Proclamation into full effect.

Since then, every year on June 19, Black Americans celebrate their freedom. It’s a day of commemoration, happiness and community. On this day, Black families celebrate their freedom by praying and being in unity with one another. Some families even make an annual pilgrimage to Galveston.

Juneteenth is a day for Black Americans to honor their humanity and celebrate the work they have done in the fight for liberation for all oppressed groups. Even though there is still a lot to accomplish, this day is for resting and rejoicing.


About Author

Ashalul is a Rochester resident committed to equity, love, and justice.

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