June 19, 2022
Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day, Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
A blend of the words June and nineteenth, it marks June 19, 1865: the day that Union Army Major General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and issued General Order No. 3, proclaiming that the enslaved African Americans there were free.
What began as an informal celebration of freedom by locals in Galveston eventually grew into a wider commemoration of the end of slavery as African Americans in Texas moved to other parts of the country.
As Juneteenth has made its way into the mainstream, some activists and leaders point to the systemic inequities that Black Americans continue to face, such as the racial wealth gap, disproportionate incarceration and longstanding health disparities.
On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed the bill into law, making Juneteenth the 11th holiday recognized by the federal government.
And many of those calling for widespread changes suggest, observing Juneteenth might then be an opportunity to reflect on how far the nation has come, and how much further there is to go.
This Juneteenth is another moment for us to join together and proclaim in one voice that Black Lives Matter.