A portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth,” Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when a group of enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, finally learned that they were free from the institution of slavery. But woefully, this was almost two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. As much as Juneteenth represents freedom, it also represents how emancipation was tragically delayed for enslaved people in the deepest reaches of the Confederacy.
This week, the House passed legislation that would establish June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day a US federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
Learn more about Black History and systemic racism that continues to plague the country by reading one of these books: