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Why Is Juneteenth Important?

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

Juneteenth Text Over A Historical Image of Freed Black Slaves

It’s important to recognize that Juneteenth has been historically known as an independence day for the Black community, which is enough grounds to make it into a federal holiday. Worldly Strategies is passionate about recognizing all cultures and we think it would be a significant milestone for this country to declare Juneteenth as a national holiday. To contribute to Juneteenth becoming a national holiday in the U.S., please visit this site and sign the petition.

African American slaves were not truly free from slavery until after the creation of the 13th Amendment in December 1865 and after harvest season for slaves in Confederate states.

June 19th, which is widely known as Juneteenth, marks the day that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas to ensure that all slaves be freed in 1865. Specifically, U.S. General Gordon Granger read General Orders No. 3 on Texas soil: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This was two years after the Emancipation Proclamation and more than 250,000 slaves were officially freed due to the statement.

Juneteenth quilt art showing former slaves hearing the news that they are free
Juneteenth quilt by Renee Allen

As a result, newly freed African American people celebrated and immediately fled the plantations they were generationally forced to reside and work in since 1619.

This began the reconstruction period (1865-1877). During this era, Black people sought to open schools, find long lost families that were separated due to slavery, run for political office, and more efforts to involve themselves into American civilization as rightfully free citizens. Some even sought to sue former slaveholders.

In 1979, Texas was the first state to declare Juneteenth as an official holiday. Today, it is known as an official holiday for 47 states in the U.S. It has yet to become a national holiday.

Painting of Juneteenth picnic in the 1800s
”Juneteenth Picnic” by Arthello Beck

Even though it isn’t a national holiday yet, Juneteenth is known as the oldest African American holiday. Similarly celebrated like the Fourth of July, it is a day when families recollect tradition and host barbecues, cookouts, prayer services, and festive events in order to commemorate how far the Black community has come. A lot of tradition came from generational Juneteenth celebration, such as drinking red drinks to represent the blood that was shed for centuries under slavery.

It is also a day that serves as a reminder to support Black development. This is a time to purchase products and services from Black-owned businesses, learn more about Black culture, and educate yourself and others about Black history.

At Worldly Strategies, we care about diversity, not just for the sake of diversity, but for the empowerment of other cultures and differing thought processes which lead to progress, forward thinking, and more creative content and marketing strategies. We value human rights and human dignity in everything we do.

We post about other holidays for clients and it is important to show support for all major holidays and not just the ones that historically pertain to Caucasian people and the generations before them.

To contribute to Juneteenth becoming a national holiday in the U.S., please visit this site and sign the petition.

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