In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, but its regulation in Texas met apathetic enforcement. It wasn’t until General Lee’s surrender in 1865, and Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger’s military occupation in Galveston on June 19, that slavery officially ended in the U.S.
Juneteenth became an annual celebration, led by freedmen in Texas, and first began receiving federal recognition in the late 1970s. Today, it’s an officially recognized holiday in 47 states. Lectures and exhibitions on African American culture and heritage are common. “Celebrations are commonly accompanied by voter registration efforts, the performing of plays, and retelling stories.”
As we celebrate and uplift the black community, you can remember Juneteenth in these ways:
- Use Juneteenth.com’s ideas in your workplace, community, and home
- Learn more about the history of slavery in the U.S.
- Read a work by a black author (free historical works are available from the UNG Press)
- Register to vote