WHAT IS JUNETEENTH?
Juneteenth is a holiday marking the end of chattel slavery in the United States.
In the confusion and turmoil as the Civil war drew to a close, many enslaved Africans did not immediately learn of General Robert E. Lee’s April, 1865 surrender to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia. In fact, Texans fought on through May, when they finally learned that the war had truly ended.
When Union Army General Gordon Granger landed at the Texas Port City of Galveston to take command of the military district of Texas, one of his first actions after landing in June, 1865, was to read General Order #3 to the people of Galveston.
General Granger read, “The people of Texas are informed...all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves...”
Thus, June 19th (Juneteenth) - became the emancipation date of those sons and daughters of Africa long suffering for freedom in these United States.
This tradition of celebration has remained strong well into the 21st century and is celebrated in many states throughout the nation. Juneteenth is honored with the veneration of our ancestors, prayer, African drumming and dance. There are inspirational speeches, art, poetry readings, picnics, games, singing and fellowship.
The celebration of Juneteenth is a recognition of the endurance of the African spirit over the cruelty of chattel slavery. For African Americans, it is a tribute to the strength, perseverance and faith of our ancestors. For all of America it is a reminder of a disgraceful past and a promise of a hopeful future!
This is the official flag of Juneteenth. The following people contributed to the design of this flag in 1997:
Azim, and Eliot Design
The Juneteenth flags represent the history, and freedom the enslaved Africans and their descendants. The design of the Juneteenth flag depicts a bursting "new star", on the horizon. It's a symbol that gives all Americans the opportunity to recognize American freedom & African American History.
The star represents a star of Texas bursting with new freedom throughout the land, over a new horizon...a new freedom, a new people.