"Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It's a celebration of progress. It's an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do." — Barack Obama
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, commemorates the date — June 19, 1865 — when federal troops, led by General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people — more than 250,000 black people in the state - be freed.
The troops' arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, and freed the last enslaved people in the country.
Juneteenth, originally called Jubilee Day, honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. It is a day to reflect on the history, the spirit, and the profound contributions of generations of African Americans to the story of America.
To find out about area Juneteenth celebrations, check out the Visit Austin website.