The Juneteenth flag depicts the Texas
lone star rising over a new horizon.
This year, Juneteenth is celebrated on Sunday, June 19, 2022.
It's a day that celebraties the final abolition of slavery in the US on June 19, 1865.
Historians will tell you that the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 ended American slavery once and for all. But in some places, that wasn't always so ...
But why June 19, 1865?
While the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted in 1863, the state of Texas was slow to recognize the rights of former slaves as citizens. And, incredibly, it took more than two years before federal troops finally marched into Texas to enforce the law of the land.
The date was June 19, 1865. And it marked the end of slavery in the United States ... completely and forevermore.
The very first Juneteenth celebration took place the following year -- and every year afterward -- both in Texas and in other states throughout the nation.
But why Juneteenth? In the popular vernacular, June 19th was simply shortened to Juneteenth.
How do people celebrate Juneteenth? Modern ways to celebrate range from music concerts and museum exhibits to church services, neighborhood block parties, and parades.
History comes alive during "the moment of freedom" on June 19, 1865 reenacted
at Booker T. Washington
National Monument in Virginia. Photo courtesy of NPS.
• In 2017, the TV comedy hit "Black-ish" featured musician Aloe Blacc (who played himself) who was enlisted to write a Juneteenth song to helped popularize the holiday.
• Although "Lift Every Voice and Sing" is the official anthem of Juneteenth, other popular songs appearing on Juneteenth music playlists include Billy Holiday's "God Bless The Child", Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," and The Staple Singers' "Freedom Highway".
• Juneteenth is also known throughout the country as Independence Day, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day
• Juneteenth flag raisings are a popular way to mark the day. It's been a tradition since 1997, with the creation of a flag that depicts the lone star of Texas rising over a new horizon. A Juneteenth flag raising ceremony wouldn't be complete without a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the playing of the national anthem.