Updated: Aug 23, 2019
Today, Juneteenth celebrations are trending throughout the United States in communities and organizations. Juneteenth is the oldest known holiday commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union Soldiers, led by Major Gordon Granger, announced in Galveston, Texas that the Civil War had ended and that those enslaved were free. Although Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became official January 1, 1863, slavery continued in the state of Texas. It has been said that it remained for economic gain in the cotton industry.
African-American’s in America had plenty of reasons to rejoice on this occasion that happened on June 19th, coined, “Juneteenth.” It has been a day of annual festivities which usually include a traditional bar-b-que, along with plenty of other dishes. Drinking Strawberry-Soda is another popular repeat at a Juneteenth Festival. African-Americans also direct their efforts on sharing history, education and self-improvement skills. It is often seen as a ceremonial time of prayer. Fashion is a custom on Juneteenth, upon this holiday, slaves were now able to cease wearing torn rags daily and choose what to wear and focus on their appearance.
Presently, more and more institutions like the Smithsonian, and the Henry Ford Museum are creating Juneteenth-centered festivities. There has also been a rise in Juneteenth organizations across the country. Texas declared Juneteenth an official holiday in 1980. Juneteenth is the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition.
This video from the Roots on YouTube gives a refreshing take on the history.