What is Juneteenth and why should we celebrate it?
It commemorates the day when slavery officially ended in the US: June 19, 1865.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. But it took two and a half years for that news to reach all of the Confederate states. One day we will fully understand why it took so long for the news to come to Texas, but many speculations exist.
Weeks after Confederate General Robert E Lee surrendered in 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, with Union soldiers and relayed the news: that "in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States," all of Texas's approximately 250,000 enslaved people were now free.
In 1980, Texas became the first to name Juneteenth a state holiday. The holiday is considered a time to reflect and celebrate liberation – marked with things like parades, music, and food.