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Category: Holidays / Topics: History Holidays Juneteenth Racism and Inequality

Celebrating Juneteenth

by Pocket editors

Posted: June 19, 2021

Essential reading on why this newest national holiday has always been one of the most important days on the calendar…

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Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in the United States, is officially a federal holiday after President Biden signed a bill passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress. It commemorates June 19, 1865, when, more than a month after the last battle of the Civil War, Union soldiers brought news to enslaved people in Galveston, Texas that they were emancipated. The date has been celebrated by Black Americans ever since, first in Texas and eventually throughout the United States.

Read on to learn more about the history, traditions, and meaning of Juneteenth.

Here's What You Need To Know About Juneteenth, The Nation's Second Independence Day

Sharon Pruitt-Young

It goes by many names. Whether you call it Emancipation Day, Freedom Day or the country's second Independence Day, Juneteenth is one of the most important anniversaries in our nation's history.

Juneteenth Challenges A Narrative About America’s History

Alex Samuels

Here’s why it’s a big deal that it’s finally a federal holiday.

Growing Up with Juneteenth

Annette Gordon-Reed
The New Yorker

How a Texan holiday became a national tradition.

Why Juneteenth Matters

Jamelle Bouie
The New York Times

It was black Americans who delivered on Lincoln’s promise of “a new birth of freedom.”

Black Joy—Not Corporate Acknowledgment—Is the Heart of Juneteenth

Kellie Carter Jackson
The Atlantic

Companies and governments are finally recognizing Emancipation Day as an official holiday, but black Americans have honored its significance all along.

The Story of Katie Darling and the Complex Jubilation of Juneteenth

Lindsey Norward

More than a declaration, Juneteenth was a day that America’s dishonesty unraveled.

The Best Books for Juneteenth

Barbara Krauthamer
Five Books

Professor Barbara Krauthamer, a leading historian of African American slavery and emancipation, talks through Juneteenth‘s significance down the decades and which books to read to get a better understanding of what it's all about.

The True Meaning of the Juneteenth Flag, Explained

McKenzie Jean-Philippe
Oprah Daily

The Juneteenth flag uses the exact same colors as the United States‘s flag: red, white, and blue. This was intentional and meant to show that the formerly enslaved and their descendants are free Americans, too.

Early Photographs of Juneteenth Celebrations

Public Domain Review

Communal barbecues, concerts, prayer services, parades, as well as baseball games, fishing, and rodeos, all featured in the festivities.

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Posted: June 19, 2021

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