June 19th marks Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States 900+ days after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. On this day in 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to ensure all enslaved people were freed. Juneteenth celebrates, “African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement.” Forty-seven states recognize this day as a significant milestone in U.S. history, as it is the oldest official holiday commemorating the end of a dark, horrific institution. Though significant progress has been made, there is still significant work to be done to eradicate systemic racism and discrimination. As we reflect and rejoice during this Juneteenth holiday, take advantage of the many educational and celebratory opportunities around Metro Detroit to learn more about this special day and ways we can all work together to ensure freedom is fully realized for All!
LEARN – Educate yourself and children you know about the significance of Juneteenth. To learn more about Juneteenth, visit: Juneteenth.com, PBS.org Juneteenth History, and History.com’s “What is Juneteenth” news story.
REFLECT – Consider ways we can collectively and individually do our part to eliminate structural racism, overt racism, conscious and unconscious bias and other forms of discrimination in our communities and country.
1. Juneteenth Activities in Metro Detroit courtesy of The Detroit News
2. Raven The Great: What is Juneteenth? by Dr. Paulette McClain & Anthony D. Carson
3. All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson & E.B. Lewis
4. On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed
5. Juneteenth: Children’s Guide to celebratIng African American independence by Shanita Arrindell
6. Juneteenth: The Story Behind the Celebration by Edward T. Cotham, Jr.