Next Saturday is Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the end of legal slavery. The date chosen for the holiday is June 19th. On that day in 1865 the Emancipation Proclamation was read in Galveston, Texas, almost three years after it had been issued and a month after the Civil War ended.
It is important to mark significant events with holidays, whether somber commemorative events or celebrations, such as this one.
Join a Juneteenth event near you, such as the one in Scotch Plains. Join the celebration and revel in the moment. But also join in to acknowledge the importance of the ongoing struggle. While the Emancipation Proclamation declared slaves in the rebel states free, slavery continued in the Union until the passage of the 13th Amendment in December of 1865 and legal challenges persisted in Texas until 1874. The legacy of slavery continues today. Celebrate Juneteenth as a way of telling those who would drag us backward that we will continue moving forward toward justice, equity, and equality for all.