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How to Celebrate Juneteenth, the Newly Federally Recognized Holiday

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Photo by: Getty/Getty

Happy Juneteenth!

On June 19, 2022, Juneteenth will be celebrated for the second time as a federal holiday.

Organizers all over the nation have started a week of events to commemorate the end of slavery in the US and to support the ongoing struggle for justice and equality. Although Juneteenth, or June 19, has recently been added to the list of official holidays, the Black community has celebrated the day for years.

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The significance of Juneteenth is that it marks the liberation of American slaves of African heritage.

As the nation recognizes and honors the critical day, here are the significates and tips on how to celebrate the holiday.

What is the significance of Juneteenth?

Here’s what we know:

President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed on January 1, 1863, to free enslaved African Americans in secessionist states, but slaves in Galveston, Texas, would not learn of their freedom until two years later.

The holiday honors the Emancipation Proclamation.

Major General Gordan announced Lincoln’s proclamation to Galveston on June 19, 1865. Gen. Gordon Granger. Even though the order to inform the enslaved that they were free had been given years before, some slave owners disregarded it. Locals in Galveston were compelled to follow the decree, according to Maj. Gen. Gordon.

Federal troops entered Galveston, Texas, to seize control of the region and guarantee the freedom of all slaves. When the announcement went ignored by some slave owners, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, the troops finally arrived.


Juneteenth Becoming a Federal Holiday:

A day after the Senate unanimously approved the legislation in June 2021, Congress passed The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act. On June 17, two days before Juneteenth, President Biden signed the legislation into law.

The federal government adopted the practice of the 47 states proclaimed Juneteenth. Some of the states that recognize the holiday as a paid one are  Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Washington. States such as Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota have followed suit and recognized Juneteenth as a paid holiday.

Following George Floyd’s and Breonna Taylor’s deaths, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., first proposed the Juneteenth bill in 2020, but it was unsuccessful.


How to Celebrate Juneteenth:

This Juneteenth is a chance for many to rekindle their relationships with loved ones and engage in hobbies they used to enjoy before the year 1923. You can join in the excitement in person or online as communities form to celebrate the day.

Here are a couple of additional Juneteenth events starting this week.

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For those in Washington D.C.:The weekend of Juneteenth will see the “Something in the Water Festival” in Washington, DC, hosted by music entrepreneur and musician Pharrell Williams. The three-day festival, held on Independence Avenue, will feature performances from Pharrell, SZA, Anderson Paak, and others.

For those in New York City: To honor “Black stories and uplift the voices of Black storytellers,” the Tribeca Film Festival is holding its Juneteenth Program in New York City. Podcasts, music, talks, and movies will all be among the featured offerings. The Tribeca Film Festival will also include online services for people outside New York City.

For those in Denver, Colorado: The Juneteenth Music Festival, which attracts 50,000 visitors yearly, will be held in Denver, Colorado. Two days of live entertainment, block parties, and local vendor shopping will be part of the celebration, which will kick off with a parade. The Juneteenth Music Festival’s proceeds will support young and adults’ economic empowerment.

A Juneteenth Honors Awards ceremony honoring “Black excellence, our history, and the achievements of African American luminaries” will serve as the Juneteenth Foundation’s official opening event.

In addition, the foundation will conduct a celebrity golf tournament, a freedom festival block party to support Black companies, and an online job fair. The foundation will also hold a Juneteenth Father’s Day reception to celebrate Black fathers with the assistance of collaborating organizations.

The event will occur at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

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While you may have cook-outs, you can take the time out to hold space to learn about Black history facts that you and your family may not be familiar with. You can also shop Black and support Black-owned businesses.

How will you celebrate Juneteenth this year?

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