On Tuesday, June 16, 2020 Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared Juneteenth an official state holiday. This day is celebrated annually on June 19th, commemorating the end of slavery in America.
The holiday dates back 155 years. On June 19, 1865, a band of Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, bringing with them the news that the enslaved were now free, and that the war had ended. This news was delivered over two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued on January 1, 1863.
We’ve put together a resource guide to help you celebrate and honor the importance of the day.
1. Learn more about this important day in America’s history.
2. Celebrate Juneteenth by supporting Black-owned Businesses across the country or in your neighborhood.
3. Learn more about art created by African Americans, such as the Miss Juneteenth film.
4. Juneteenth is often referred to as “Freedom Day.” Learn more from How Stuff Works.
5. Learn more about the African American minds behind some of the most common objects in our lives.
6. Listen to Lift Every Voice and Sing, a song which has been deemed by many to be the “Black National Anthem.”
7. Want to enjoy a book about Juneteenth? Learn more from this Juneteenth reading list.
8. Juneteenth celebrations can’t be stopped by COVID-19. Here are a few examples of how to take your celebration virtual:
9. There are many historic locations in Virginia. Learn more about African American historic sites and heritage located in the Commonwealth.
10. Take this time to learn and reflect on this historic day and how we can continue the celebration of African Americans in our communities.
Let us know what Juneteenth means to you!