Each year Americans celebrate the fourth day in July, bringing out the ice coolers filled with sodas, barbecue grills and fireworks to honor the anniversary of America’s independence. Since July 4, 1776, the Fourth of July has always been revered because it was the day the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, officializing America’s freedom from Britain’s rule.
The same freedom that America had won from the British didn’t extend to enslaved Americans until President Abraham Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan.1, 1863. While Jan. 1, 1863 is a commendable day, a more notable day is June 19, 1865. On that day Union soldiers officially notified African-Americans in Galveston, Texas that they had been freed via reading General Order Number 3. According to the Juneteenth website the beginning of General Order Number 3 read:
Recognized as Juneteenth, that historic day has been viewed as African-American’s true independence day and honored as such. There are some African-Americans who even celebrate the Juneteenth holiday in lieu of the Fourth of July. Juneteenth has been acknowledged in some places like Georgia and New York State as a state holiday, however Juneteenth has just become a national holiday less than three days ago.
After being swiftly passed through Congress in less than two days, On Wednesday (June 16) President Joe Biden made Juneteenth official by signing a bill that would recognize the day as a federal holiday. Like many other holidays, there isn’t a specific way to commemorate Juneteenth— besides being respectful—however there are Juneteenth events for those that want to do it big.
Defined as “ true celebration of Black liberation through culture, commerce and cooperative economics,” according to the event invitation, Leimert Parking Rising’s Juneteenth Celebration will happen for 10 hours straight! The dope event will even have a special performance from Grammy winner Terrace Martin.
This grand festival is actually a four day event, beginning on June 15 and ending on June 19. The long-standing celebration will be held in-person at the historical Fillmore Heritage Gallery.
Those in New York City can celebrate Juneteenth and get their exercise on too. This Sunday NYC will be hosting a Juneteenth walk/run and barbecue.
Atlanta is doing it super big per usual, hosting a mega parade and music festival in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. The Atlanta Black History Parade/March/Rally will begin noon on Saturday June 19.