On June 19, 1865, as troops marched into Galveston Bay, Texas, it was announced that enslaved people were free by executive order. The celebrations that followed began a tradition that continues today. ​

This month, join us at the Praise Network as we celebrate Juneteenth with moments to Freedom powered by Vascular Centers of America.VCA
What is Juneteenth? How do you celebrate it?
Continue reading for little-known facts and more…

Juneteenth Facts

  • 1.

    The national holiday Juneteenth has been around for years, but only recently got federal recognition. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, but 250-thousand enslaved people in Texas didn’t know about it, until June 19th, 1865… The official beginning of Juneteenth.

  • 2.

    A statement read by General Gordon Granger said that all slaves were free with absolute equality and personal rights but were advised to work for wages with their former owners. However, many left before the announcement was over. They were called “the scattered…” meaning that scores of former enslaved people left Texas to reunite with family and starting new lives as free men and women.

  • 3.

    The name Juneteenth is from the date on which the last enslaved people in Texas found out they had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. It was first called, “Jubilee Day” but Juneteenth gained popularity after 1866. The holiday is also known as, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, and Black Independence Day.

  • 4.

    Juneteenth celebrations slowed during the Jim Crow era, but when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. planned a march that was scheduled… on purpose… to coincide with Juneteenth, a resurgence happened. Once again, celebrations began to take place all over the country. On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth officially became a Texas state holiday. The holiday became a national holiday on June 16, 2021.

  • 5.

    The first version of the Juneteenth Flag was created in1997 by activist Ben Haith and was revised by illustrator Lisa Jeanne-Graf in 2000. The Juneteenth flag shares the red, white and blue colors of the American flag as reminder that Black Americans and their descendants are Americans. The star in the middle symbolizes Texas, the red and blue arc represents the new horizon of opportunity for black people and the bursting star on the “horizon represents new freedom and a new people.

  • 6.

    How you celebrate Juneteenth is up to you! Find an event in your area, attend a cookout or reunion, support black business and black owned restaurants. Host your own backyard barbeque complete with traditional foods… of course with the red pop and red velvet cake! After all the fun… settle down and binge watch your favorite Black TV Shows and Movies.

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