Today we recognize June 19, or Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of enslavement in the United States.
- On Sept. 22, 1862, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
- News of the proclamation reached the final Confederate state of Texas when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, and residents learned enslavement had been abolished.
- A celebration of song, dance and prayer ensued, and the following year on June 19, the first official Juneteenth was held in Texas. Soon other states began to observe the holiday.
- Juneteenth celebrations have grown to include showcasing the culture and achievements of African Americans.
- The holiday is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Emancipation Day.
Twenty-one Clovis Unified School District African American graduates will be featured on “A California Juneteenth - Celebrating Black Excellence,” that airs on ONME Network June 19-July 21. The program includes Black artists, musicians, dancers, poets and more, along with a celebration of 2021 Black graduates throughout California. To watch: https://www.myonmetv.com/specialevent