Our most important national holiday. The celebration of the day in Galveston, Texas June 19th, 1865, when the last of the enslaved African-Americans were officially informed that they were free.
As long as one American was enslaved, we all were. The United States as a nation was not able to begin it's democratic journey until that day.
It was the beginning of our journey toward wholeness and while we have not yet reached our destination we shouldn't forget the sacrifices as well as the accomplishments of our ancestors.
For Ideas on how to celebrate:
From the www.juneteenth.com/aboutjuneteenth.htm
"But, if this part of our history could be told in such a way that those chains of the past, those shackles that physically bound us together against our wills could, in the telling, become spiritual links that willingly bind us together now and into the future - then that painful Middle Passage could become, ironically, a positive connecting line to all of us whether living inside or outside the continent of Africa..."
The passage above truly captures the spirit of Juneteenth and the mission of JUNETEENTH.com. Read it slowly, several times, until you internalize its message - then you will know and feel the passion, the inspiration and the necessity of our cause.
Juneteenth is a day of reflection, a day of renewal, a pride-filled day. It is a moment in time taken to appreciate the African American experience. It is inclusive of all races, ethnicities and nationalities - as nothing is more comforting than the hand of a friend.
Juneteenth is a day on which honor and respect is paid for the sufferings of slavery. It is a day on which we acknowledge the evils of slavery and its aftermath. On Juneteenth we talk about our history and realize because of it, there will forever be a bond between us.
On Juneteenth we think about that moment in time when the enslaved in Galveston, Texas received word of their freedom. We imagine the depth of their emotions, their jubilant dance and their fear of the unknown.
Juneteenth is a day that we commit to each other the needed support as family, friends and co-workers. It is a day we build coalitions that enhance African American economics.
On Juneteenth we come together young and old to listen, to learn and to refresh the drive to achieve. It is a day where we all take one step closer together - to better utilize the energy wasted on racism. Juneteenth is a day that we pray for peace and liberty for all.