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Kira's  Article

  What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas finally getting the news that they were free (Taylor, 2022).  On January 1st, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation (Anonymous, 2023).  His proclamation freed all enslaved Africans in Confederate states; their governments were at war with the United States (Anonymous, 2023).  But, in reality, that's not what really happened.  There were people still enslaved in Kentucky, Delaware, and Texas.  The enslaved people in Kentucky, Delaware, and Texas were still enslaved because there wasn’t much military presence, so slavery continued (Anonymous, 2021).  It wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that the troops arrived in Galveston Texas to set the slaves free (Taylor, 2022).  Around 250,000 slaves were freed (Anonymous, 2021).  


Juneteenth is becoming a holiday.

Over the past forty years, more and more Juneteenth celebrations have been occurring across the U.S.  Since 1980, at least 45 states and Washington DC have officially recognized Juneteenth (Anonymous, 2021).  In 2020, following the death of George Floyd, African American, at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, Congress introduced a bill to make Juneteenth a holiday.    In 2021, President Biden signed legislation that made Juneteenth a federal holiday.  Juneteenth is the longest-running African American holiday (Anonymous, 2021).

How is Juneteenth Celebrated?

Juneteenth is a celebration of family and African American culture.  It also celebrates the United States’ commitment to freedom for all people. 

Juneteenth is celebrated by celebrations involving prayers and family gatherings.  It also includes annual pilgrimages to Galveston by African Americans and their families. “ In 1872, a group of African American ministers and businessmen in Houston purchased ten acres of land and created  Emancipation Park, which was intended to hold the city’s annual Juneteenth celebration (Taylor, 2022)”.  Today, some celebrations take place among families in their backyards.  Cities like Atlanta and Washington, hold large events, including parades, festivals, local businesses, and more (Anonymous, 2022). 


What is the Juneteenth order?  

The Juneteenth order freed the enslaved people of Galveston, Texas that they were free.  The Juneteenth order was signed by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger.  The enslaved people were informed that in accordance (agreement) with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States that all slaves were free.   The order was issued on June 19 of 1865.  The order promised formerly enslaved people “absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves”.

About the Author:

Kira is a 12 year old, sixth grader. She enjoys competing in gymnastics, playing volleyball, and writing creative stories. 



Taylor, Derrick Bryson.  2022.   Juneteenth: The History of a Holiday.  The New York Times, June 20.  Accessed on Feb. 10, 2023 from, 

Anonymous, 2021.  What is Juneteenth? The holiday's history and significance, explained. | Just the FAQs.  USA Today, June 17.  Accessed on Feb. 10, 2023 from 

Anonymous, 2023.  The Emancipation Proclamation.  Accessed on Feb. 10, 2023 from, 

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