Happy Juneteenth- 2020

I don’t think I had heard of Juneteenth until this year. I may have heard about it in passing, but I didn’t really know what it was. I decided it was past time for me to change that so I spent some time today reading & listening to learn more about this holiday and what it means. I encourage each of you to do your own research but I am writing a short blog post to give you a base knowledge and a place to start.

Emancipation Proclamation

On September 22, 1862, Lincoln announced the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. This called on the Confederate states to rejoin the Union within 100 days- by January 1, 1863, or their slaves would be declared “thenceforward, and forever free.” On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law. This was a time long before quick communication. Union soldiers went to confederate states and slave holders homes to read mini versions of the proclamation. However, the proclamation actually did little to actually free enslaved people. The border confederate states were not effected by the proclamation, and many slave holders in the confederacy did not abide by it either. However, it was a very symbolic moment that would lead to 13th amendment to the Constitution which abolished slavery in 1865.

June 19, 1865

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” – General Orders, Number 3; Headquarters District of Texas, Galveston. June 19, 1865

On June 19, 1865, over 2 years after the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation, Major General Gordon Granger issued the above order. 2,000 Union troops arrive in Galveston Bay, Texas to announce that more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state were freed by the executive decree. This day would later become known as “Juneteenth” by the freed people of Texas.


Juneteenth marks the country’s second, and honestly more true Independence Day. In 1979, Texas became to the first state to make it an official holiday. Since then, 41 other states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday or holiday observance. Petitions are in place to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. It seems like it should be a day that is celebrated as much, if not more, than Independence Day. I hope someday that will happen.

Ways to Celebrate

I have spent time today on Instagram reading about Juneteenth from black people’s perspectives and listening to ways they suggest we celebrate this day.

Some ways to celebrate included:

  • Share your favorite Black influencers and businesses with friends and on social media.
  • Share Black social media pages that you enjoy and bring your happiness- not just pages that include education.
  • Educate yourself, your family and friends, and your children on Juneteenth.
  • Support Black businesses!
  • Donate to various organizations that support Black civil rights.

I encourage everyone to take some time to educate yourselves about this holiday, and find a way to celebrate. Happy Juneteenth, Friends. Let’s keep this as a reminder of the end of a dark past, and the light of a more hopeful and equal future. Love to all of you. <3