Amid this year's Black Lives matter protests and charged atmosphere, Juneteenth is receiving widespread recognition. George Floyd's brutal murder has sparked a national reckoning on race and police brutality. Even before today's demands for more transparency and accountability in policing, and racial justice in our society, remembrance of this piece of American history was having a strong resurgence. If you are not familiar with the history of this day, here is some information.
Juneteenth is the oldest national celebration of the end of slavery in our nation. Commemorated on June 19th, it marks the anniversary of the day the news reached Texas that the war was over and enslaved people were free. This was a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. It is a day of both celebration of liberty and mourning for those freedom never reached. Popularity of marking this day has come and gone over the years, picking up again in the 1960's during the Civil Rights Movement. In recent years, it has seen phenomenal growth in communities around the country. Learn more about Juneteenth at the Smithsonian.