Let freedom ring! Juneteenth is officially a federal holiday, and there are multiple ways to pause, reflect, get educated and celebrate this holiday and its significant impact on African American history. Do you know what the holiday is and how it came to be? Let’s have a brief history lesson.
On June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, the last enslaved people were officially freed, marking one of the most important days in history for the United States.
The road to freedom was a long one. In fact, enslaved people were technically freed two years prior to Juneteenth by President Lincoln in the Emancipation Proclamation, but this didn’t free all enslaved people – specifically those living in states not under Union control. Realistically, the last enslaved people weren’t freed until federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865.
After many years and many bills introduced by Congress members to federally recognize Juneteenth, in 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.
So, let’s celebrate! Keep reading to learn what to do on June 19.
4 ways to celebrate Juneteenth
Check out four ways to get educated and honor Juneteenth.
1. Educate yourself by reading or watching a documentary.
Learn about where Juneteenth all began and explore the stories of people who lived it. For example, read the writings of Frederick Douglass and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, both prolific writers during the abolition movement. As for documentaries, explore the work of activist and acclaimed writer James Baldwin in the 2016 documentary.
2. Visit a museum.
Both local and national museums are a great way to learn about Juneteenth. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has a powerful way of exploring the complex story of slavery and freedom. Local museums can highlight what history was like in your community during that period, making the education more personal.
3. Attend a local parade or festivity.
Juneteenth celebrations offer a moment to pause, reflect and celebrate the major gains and accomplishments of African Americans throughout history. Look up what celebrations are happening in your city and celebrate!
4. Get involved in local organizations.
The events and organizations that host educational events for Juneteenth have a direct impact on your community. Getting involved can allow you to educate and reinforce African American history. If you can’t find an organization or event, think about starting your own.
The continued fight for equal access to justice
Juneteenth represents the most important things LegalShield stands for: equality, justice and freedom. At LegalShield, we believe every single human should have access to these things regardless of race, orientation, education, social status or personal wealth.
In fact, this belief is the core center of our ‘why.’ Our vision is to continue building a future where everyone has equal access to these rights. We’ve made it our mission to protect and empower people with the tools and services needed to do so.
We encourage you to pause and commemorate Juneteenth and continue to fight with us for equal access to the basic rights everyone deserves.
Fight with LegalShield today
Learn more about ways to celebrate Juneteenth and how to continue fighting for equality for all.
Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (“PPLSI”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to PPLSI members through membership-based participation. Neither PPLSI nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation, or advice. The information available in this blog is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. The blog post is not a substitute for competent legal counsel from a licensed professional lawyer in the state or province where your legal issues exist and the reader is strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel for your specific legal matter. Information contained in the blog may be provided by authors who could be a third-party paid contributor. All information by authors is accepted in good faith, however, PPLSI makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of such information.