Juneteenth FAQs 2021.doc

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Juneteenth FAQs What is Juneteenth? Juneteenth is a U.S. holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery. The June 19 celebration is also called Juneteenth Independence Day, Emancipation Day or Freedom Day. "Juneteenth" is an amalgamation of the words "June" and "nineteenth," and it refers to the holiday's date. What is the origin of Juneteenth? Juneteenth is a remembrance of the day the last slaves were freed in Galveston, Texas. This happened some two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Freed slaves first celebrated the holiday in Texas, but African Americans were celebrating Juneteenth in other states within a few years, making it an annual tradition. Is Juneteenth a national holiday? President Biden on Thursday signed a bill to recognize Juneteenth — the celebration to commemorate the end of chattel slavery in the United States — as a federal holiday. Federal employees will observe the holiday for the first time on Friday.. How is Juneteenth celebrated? Prayer and worship services, speeches, educational activities, family gatherings, picnics, food, music, and dancing festivals are all standard features of Juneteenth celebrations across the United States. Can I celebrate Juneteenth if I am not black? Yes, people of all backgrounds are welcomed to celebrate Juneteenth. American history is a shared experience, and our traditions are intended to educate, engage, and empower all people. Juneteenth is part of the American tradition. You can support Juneteenth activities by learning more about the history of chattel slavery in the United States, emancipation and participate in local celebrations. Parents can also share information with their children about this often-hidden part of American history.

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