On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers arrived in Texas to report that the Confederacy had surrendered two months earlier and that enslaved people were now free. Texas was the last state to receive the news.
This year, communities across the country plan honor this moment with food and festivities. But — despite a push by activists over the years — Juneteenth still isn’t a federal holiday, only 47 states and the District of Columbia recognize June 19 as a state holiday or observance. And, throughout its history, it has often been overlooked by white Americans.
America, one hundred and fifty five years later is still struggling to recognize the horrors of history.
Ways you can celebrate Juneteenth
Support Black lives matter: Make a donation or get more involved in your local community.
Educate yourself: Reading about Juneteenth’s history. Watch the documentary 13th on Netflix, or engage with other movies, shows, books and podcasts about systemic racism.
Participate in online Juneteenth events: Tune in to the virtual Juneteenth music festival or find a listing of local events here in Evanston!
Reflect: On the white resistance to the Black Lives Matter Movement. Think about the systemic racism that continues to this day. Use June 19 as a day to reflect on critical issues that perpetuate discrimination against black people in America and throughout the world.
Place a sign in your front yard: Raise awareness and show your support for Juneteenth by decorating a sign for your front yard or door. This is a great way to help educate younger kids in your neighborhood who may not know about the holiday.
Get involved:
Join the Evanston Fight for Black Lives group.
Speak up: We all need to stand up to systemic oppression and racism.
We all have to speak up and get loud.