Today marks the 153rd anniversary of Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, which commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans throughout the former Confederacy of the southern United States. This also comes two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed in 1863.
Texas was the first state to establish Juneteenth as a state holiday under legislation introduced by Democratic Rep. Al Edwards.
This celebration marks the end to a dark time in our history.
The end of slavery in the United States is something to celebrate that we have grown as a nation to recognize everyone as equal.
It has been many years in the making, but we are on the right track to equality, and the amount of communities and organizations now planning Juneteenth celebrations has dramatically increased according to the Juneteenth website.
We encourage everyone to remember how far we have come in the country. This is a celebration of freedom, and of emancipation.
“The future of Juneteenth looks bright as the number of cities and states creating Juneteenth committees continues to increase,” according to the website. “Respect and appreciation for all of our differences grow out of exposure and working together. Getting involved and supporting Juneteenth celebrations creates new bonds of friendship and understanding among us. This indeed, brightens our future – and that is the Spirit of Juneteenth.”
It is our hope that you all will have that same spirit not only today, but everyday of the year.