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Juneteenth, Explained

This past Nine-Teenth, we celebrated a momentous, but somehow still an unofficial holiday, called Juneteenth, also called Liberation Day, Freedom Day, and Jubilee Day. This is the day that the last slaves left in the United States of America were freed on June 19, 1865. This was following the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862. Still, after this, the slaves were forced to continue to work in brutal conditions for another three years! By this time, Abraham Lincoln had already been assassinated, the Civil War was over, and the Confederacy had ceased to exist. This was first celebrated in 1866 by a free African American community and ever since it has been a happy holiday, signifying the end to the horrible and evil practice of slavery. Still, the fight was far from over, It would take another one hundred years until Segregation was outlawed due to the peaceful work of amazing people such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, two examples of people who fought a war for racial equality with peaceful efforts. Still, the fight is far from over, people are still fighting for equality to this day. As I sit in my parlor writing this, there are people protesting for equality in the United States and around the world. Millions have risen up to demand a simple human right around the world. Equality not based on race, but based on the fact that we are all humans!

Juneteenth is a symbol of freedom and the realization that we’re all people with rights but is still a sign we have a ways to go before racial equality is reached. Juneteenth is the day that the last slaves left in this nation were freed. It is the day that the Union troops rode into a Texan town and stood on the roof of a building announcing the emancipation proclamation. Just a few days ago the U.S. senator from Texas moved to make this Momentous day in our history a holiday. This year has seen Juneteenth celebrated more than ever, at protests and in private alike. Many businesses have made the decision to give employees the day off and many people have begun teaching their children about this holiday. We live in the United States, Land of the Free, and this holiday commemorates the day that that phrase became a truth, “Land Of The Free”.

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