What is Juneteenth

Juneteenth, Or June 19th, 1865, Is Considered The Date When The Last Slaves In America Were Freed. Although The Rumors Of Freedom Were Widespread Before This, Actual Emancipation Did Not Come Until General Gordon Granger Rode Into Galveston, Texas And Issued General Order No. 3, On June 19th, Almost Two And A Half Years After President Abraham Lincoln Signed The Emancipation Proclamation.

But Didn't The Emancipation Proclamation Free Us?
President Lincoln Issued The Emancipation Proclamation On September 22nd, 1862, Notifying The States In Rebellion Against The Union That If They Did Not Cease Their Rebellion And Return To The Union By January 1st, 1863, He Would Declare Their Slaves Forever Free. Needless To Say, The Proclamation Was Ignored By Those States That Seceded From The Union. Furthermore, The Proclamation Did Not Apply To Those Slave-Holding States That Did Not Rebel Against The Union. As A Result, About 800,000 Slaves Were Unaffected By The Provisions Of The Proclamation. It Would Take A Civil War To Enforce The Emancipation Proclamation And The 13th Amendment To The U.S. Constitution To Formally Outlaw Slavery In The United States.

When Is Juneteenth Celebrated?
Annually, On June 19th, In More Than 200 Cities In The United States. Some Cities Sponsor Week-Long Celebrations, Culminating On June 19th, While Others Hold Shorter Celebrations.

Why Is Juneteenth Celebrated?
It Symbolizes The End Of Slavery. Juneteenth Has Come To Symbolize For Many African-Americans What The Fourth Of July Symbolizes For All Americans -- Freedom. It Serves As A Historical Milestone Reminding Americans Of The Triumph Of The Human Spirit Over The Cruelty Of Slavery. It Honors Those African-American Ancestors Who Survived The Inhumane Institution Of Bondage, As Well As Demonstrating Pride In The Marvelous Legacy Of Resistance And Perseverance They Left Us.

Why Not Just Celebrate The Fourth Of July Like Other Americans?
Blacks Do Celebrate The Fourth Of July In Honor Of American Independence Day, But History Reminds Us That Blacks Were Still Enslaved When The United States Obtained Its Independence.

Why Were Slaves In Texas The Last To Know That They Were Free?

During The Civil War, Texas Did Not Experience Any Significant Invasion By Union Forces. Although The Union Army Made Several Attempts To Invade Texas, They Were Thwarted By Confederate Troops. As A Result, Slavery In Texas Continued To Thrive. In Fact, Because Slavery In Texas Experienced Such A Minor Interruption In Its Operation, Many Slave Owners From Other Slave-Holding States Brought Their Slaves To Texas To Wait Out The War. News Of The Emancipation Was Suppressed Due To The Overwhelming Influence Of Slave Owners.