Today is Juneteenth, a national holiday and a day that we should celebrate the contributions black people have made to America.
What is Juneteenth?
On September 22, 1862 President Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Order, and it took effect January 1, 1863. However, this did not automatically free all enslaved people.
On June 19, 1865 General Granger delivered the federal orders that all enslaved persons were emancipated. The news did not reach everyone overnight, but eventually spread across Texas and celebration broke out commemorating Juneteenth.
This week, Congress voted and President Biden signed a bill to declare Juneteenth a federal holiday. This is the first new federal holiday created since 1983, when Martin Luther King Jr. Day was declared on the third Monday of January.
“What I love about Juneteenth is even in that extended wait, we still find something to celebrate. Even though the story has never been tidy, and black folks have had to march and fight for every inch of our freedom, our story is nonetheless one of progress.”
“Juneteenth symbolizes the hope that my children and grandchildren will be free. It’s Black Joy.”
-Tanesha Grant (Founder of Parents Supporting Parents New York and Moms United for Black Lives New York City)