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  • Writer's pictureAkira Kirkpatrick

What Is Juneteenth? And Why Is It So Important?

Juneteenth is the combination of the words "June" and "nineteenth" meant to commemorate the date June 19, 1865 - otherwise known as the day the last Black Americans who were enslaved in this country (in Texas specifically) received word of their emancipation.

Juneteenth has been known by many names - Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Black Independence Day, and Jubilee Day - before being officially recognized as a federal holiday by President Joe Biden in June 2021.

Throughout history, Black Americans have celebrated Juneteenth as Independence Day either in place of, or in combination with this country's more notably recognized Independence Day, July 4th.

Juneteenth is an important day to recognize and celebrate, no matter the color of your skin, simply because it signifies the anniversary of the day - June 19, 1865 - where every person in this country, no matter the color of their skin, was free.

"Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or 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

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