Connecting Readers and Writers to the Word: Celebrating Juneteenth (Freedom Day)

Juneteenth, a historic and celebratory day: June 19th, 1865, marks the emancipation and freedom for enslaved people in the United States.

Indeed, today is a celebration in more ways than one! On, June 15 the Senate unanimously passed a resolution establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a US holiday honoring the end of slavery in the United States.

A few facts about Juneteenth:

  • Juneteenth finds its origins in Galveston, Texas, where slavery continued after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. 
  • Many enslavers moved to Texas during this time, as they viewed it as a safe haven for enslavement.

Federal troops arrived in Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and to inform enslaved people of their freedom, two and half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.  

  • Celebrations date back to over 150 years in American history and is considered the longest running African American holiday.
  • Throughout the years, festivities gained expansion across the nation, with events in most major cities.
  • Today Juneteenth commemorates African American independence and focuses on education and achievement.

How will you celebrate today? Well, I am a vendor at a Juneteenth event at my church. So, if you in DeKalb County, GA, come and see me at 765 South Hairston Road, Stone Mountain, GA.

For Readers and Writers: Additional ways you can celebrate:

  • Check out events in your hometown.
  • Find a great movie about the triumph of enslaved African-Americans
  • Read a book about Juneteenth
  • Write a book about Juneteenth
  • View the short (8 min.) video: This Is Why Juneteenth Is Important for America

Happy Juneteenth!

Vanessa Fortenberry,
M.Ed., Media
Ed.S., Media
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