Oregon Family Support Network Celebrates and Honors Juneteenth

History of Juneteenth

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th, marks the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of the Civil War, proclaiming the freedom of all enslaved people in Texas. This declaration came two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, due to the delay in enforcement in Texas. The announcement led to celebrations among newly freed African Americans, a tradition that evolved into the annual observance known as Juneteenth.

Significance of Juneteenth

The significance of Juneteenth extends beyond the end of slavery; it symbolizes the resilience, dignity, and perseverance of African Americans. It is a day to reflect on the struggles and sacrifices made in the fight for freedom and equality and serves as a reminder of the ongoing efforts needed to address systemic racism and injustice. Juneteenth is a celebration of African American culture, achievements, and contributions to society, marked by family gatherings, community festivals, parades, music, and educational events.

In recent years, Juneteenth has gained broader recognition across the United States. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, making Juneteenth a federal holiday. This historic moment underscores the growing acknowledgment of the significance of this day in American history. Communities nationwide honor Juneteenth with various events, including historical reenactments, cultural exhibitions, and discussions on the ongoing fight for civil rights, making it a time to educate ourselves and others about the history of slavery and the continued efforts toward achieving true equality.

How to Celebrate Juneteenth

Celebrating Juneteenth involves meaningful activities such as educating oneself and others about its history, supporting Black-owned businesses, participating in community events, reflecting on social justice, and celebrating African American culture through music, art, literature, and cuisine. Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom, resilience, and the ongoing pursuit of equality, honoring the past, celebrating the present, and inspiring future generations. Happy Juneteenth!


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