On June 19, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation was read to enslaved African Americans in Texas. This was two and a half years after this critical, freeing law had officially been put into place. For over two years, slave owners either withheld telling their slaves the news of their emancipation or would hang slaves who acted on the news. Despite this, after Union General Gordon Granger shared the news, June 19 became a rallying date for freed men and women of Texas. Celebrations started in 1866 and became an annual tradition.
Despite lack of federal recognition, this holiday has persisted through beautiful traditions such as festivals, picnics, parades, and barbecues. Traditionally, red is encouraged as a symbol of resilience. Today, Juneteenth is meant to be a moment that recognizes the African American experience and celebrates African American freedom and achievements. It is a day to honor accomplishments, remember those lost, and reinvigorate hope and solidarity. It is becoming more recognized as a holiday around the country, but there are still many people who do not know its significance or meaning.
Juneteenth is both a symbol of liberation and a reminder of resistance to equality. It is an important step in recognizing the deep-rooted injustices and trauma of slavery, but the US still has a long way to go in acknowledging its past and paving a path to a more equal, inclusive country. Even with freedom written into law, it was not granted to many slaves. This idea of delayed freedom continues to resonate today.
We have gathered some of our favorite Juneteenth celebrations on Mobilize this year. Supporters are encouraged to attend to learn more about the importance of this holiday.
Celebrating Juneteenth & Recognizing the Need for Black Voices in Progressive Spaces with NextGen VA
NextGen will feature Virginia legislators and community leaders to lift Black voices and recognize their impact in the progressive community. The event will also discuss the importance of Juneteenth and will leave room for questions for the guest speakers.
Juneteenth Town Hall with Arizona Democratic Party
The Arizona Democratic Party is hosting progressive African American leaders from across the state to discuss institutional racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and other issues affecting voters in November. This event will also celebrate African American empowerment and liberation.
Juneteenth Jeopardy and Happy Hour with NextGen NV
This trivia night will quiz attendees on their knowledge of Juneteenth to educate them about its significance. After the game, the floor will be opened to a discussion around issues impacting the Black community today. NextGen will also provide a mocktail menu of drinks inspired by Juneteenth.
Verify Your Vote Juneteenth Happy Hour with Seat at the Table
With the election coming up, it is vital that we ensure we have the base of support we need to push progressive candidates and legislation. This happy hour event will welcome the Seat at the Table community and designate time for them to verify their voter registration status.
Couch Party: Juneteenth Edition with When We All Vote
This event will discuss the history of Juneteenth, what When We All Vote is, how to get involved, and voter education. The goal of the event is to ensure that members of the community are registered and engaged to vote.
#DefundNYPD and Juneteenth Teach-In with Community Voices Heard
To mark Juneteenth, Community Voices Heard is hosting a nationwide weekend of action. Join New York Working Families Party to learn more about how to reimagine community safety by deeply investing in community infrastructure.
Juneteenth NH Discussion on Effective Allyship with Joe Biden
This event will teach supporters how to be an effective ally and work towards equity, inclusion, and justice.