Celebrating Juneteenth

Juneteenth, celebrated on and around June 19, is the name given to Emancipation Day by African Americans in Texas and is now celebrated nationwide. Although it’s often cited as America’s second independence day and one of the most popular annual celebrations of emancipation from slavery in the country, many Americans still don’t know about this important holiday.
 
The origins of Juneteenth began on June 19, 1865, when Union Major-General Gordon Granger and his troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and read General Order No. 3, which stated, in part:
 
“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”
 
Celebrations soon began, and Juneteenth became akin to another Fourth of July for black Americans. As this country continues to strive for full equality and justice to all Americans, the importance of celebrating and acknowledging Juneteenth has never been more vital.
 
As of this writing, 46 states and Washington, D.C., recognize Juneteenth in some capacity as a holiday or official observance, but Juneteenth has yet to be declared a federal holiday. A growing list of companies, such as Twitter, Nike, Square, and Vox Media, have now declared Juneteenth a paid company holiday.
 
Here’s a roundup of resources you can use at home or in the classroom to better understand and know Juneteenth:
 
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