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Juneteenth- Regional Holiday

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

By: Prisca Liliane

On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This declaration claimed freedom for all Confederate-held slaves starting from January 1, 1863. It wasn’t until two years afterwards, that about 1,800 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state. These troops were to ensure that all 250,000 enslaved people in Texas were notified they had already been freed. The date in which this event occurred is June 19th, 1865-otherwise known as “Juneteenth”, which is the oldest known U.S. celebration of the end of slavery.

Also referred to as Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day, this historic event has only been celebrated regionally. In 1980, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth a state holiday. As of 2020, there are 45 states and Washington, D.C. that recognize the day as a state holiday.


Videos about Juneteenth:

Juneteenth: Freedom at Last (Video reference)

Ways to Commemorate Juneteenth:

  • Visit your local African American History Museum

  • Support Black Owned Businesses

  • Oral histories and readings at your local, public library

  • Cookout/BBQ with foods associated with southern, Texas cuisine.

  • Red soda water/strawberry soda (traditional to Texas cookout/BBQ)

  • Parades/Rodeos (Featuring Black cowboys as tradition within the State of Texas

Juneteenth Flag designed by L.J. Graf - “The colors red, white, and blue echo the American flag to symbolize that the enslaved people and their descendants were Americans. The star in the middle pays homage to Texas, while the bursting "new star" on the "horizon" of the red and blue fields represents a new freedom and a new people.” (CONRADT, 2018)

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