Celebrated on June 19th each year, Juneteenth Day is the oldest celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. June 19th was the day that Union soldiers entered Texas to declare the news Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. News traveled so slowly in those days that it took two years for people in Texas to find out about the Emancipation Proclamation. It is an unofficial holiday celebrated each year, although there is a push to make it a nationally celebrated holiday.
Today Juneteeth Day celebrates African American freedom and focuses on education and achievement. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement, and planning for the future. Juneteenth Day is growing in popularity and points to increased dignity among individuals. The day celebrates African American culture and acknowledges the past, present, and future.
The day also provides a time for individuals around the world to be sensitized to the experiences of others. As we are more aware of what others have and are going through, we will be more motivated the act. Juneteenth Day should serve as a call to action and a reminder that slavery still exists today. It will take all kinds of people, from all walks of life, with all kinds of experiences, to come together and remember the past and fight for the future.