Juneteenth, marking June 19, 1865—the day that a military order informed thousands of slaves in Texas they were free—has long been a day of deep significance and meaning to the African-American community.
Yet too many Americans are just now learning about it.
And perhaps this Juneteenth, in a year when many Americans are waking up to the need to make radical changes to address racial injustice, can be a turning point—when all Americans recognize the fact that painful disparities did not end with slavery.
It is staggering, writes Annette Gordon-Reed in The New Yorker, that there is no date commemorating the end of slavery in the US. This year, there is a push to change that—to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
But no need to wait to reflect and learn:
- The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: "Juneteenth: Commemorate, Celebrate & Elevate" event. 11am - noon – Register
- Watch: Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle – YouTube
- See: National Museum of African American History and Culture – Founding Director Lonnie Bunch III leads a tour through the Slavery and Freedomexhibition to celebrate Juneteenth
- Read: Juneteenth Reading List – Chicago Public Library
- Listen: Virtual Juneteenth Music Festival
- NC’s 1st African-American poet laureate reflects on Juneteenth, what it means in troubling times – CBS17.com