As the month of June comes to an end and as the 4th of July approaches, I wanted to acquaint the unfamiliar and remind the familiar of the celebration of Juneteenth. I am sure there are many who have never heard of this concept
So what is it? Juneteenth is a celebration of African-American emancipation. June 19, 1865 was the day that slavery ended in the United States. On that day, Major General Gordon Granger, went into the last stronghold of slavery in the United States, Galveston, Texas and declared an end to slavery. You see, slaves were still being kept in Galveston after they had been officially freed. This was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation (which officially ended slavery).
It is important for every American, not just African-Americans, to understand the significance of Juneteenth, even as the 4th of July is celebrated — in a day when the Confederate flag still flies over the capital of South Carolina and is incorporated into that of some other southern states. As we celebrate the 4th of July this weekend, let’s remember those who died during the Revolutionary War, the many who died during the Civil War to end slavery, and those who lost their lives in Charleston just last week because some people can simply not let go of hate.