What is Juneteenth?

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - On June 19, 2021, a day known as Juneteenth became a Federal Holiday. Although many of us are happy to get an extra day off work, do we really know what this new holiday is? The truth is, it’s not new. Many communities of people have been honoring this day for years.

It all started in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring enslaved people to be free. Not everyone got word of the good news though.

It wasn’t until two years later, on June 19, 1865 that slaves in Texas were notified by the Union that they were indeed free people. Now, we honor those people and celebrate a day that is another move towards liberty and justice for all.

150 years later, there are books, podcasts and messages all over sharing about the significance of Juneteenth. There are celebrations all over the country and right in our own neighborhoods.

Payton Walker sat down with Marzetta, an instructor from The University of Alabama and author, for a conversation about this day and how we can best honor and commemorate this day.

To learn more from Marzetta, visit her website, linked here.

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Anna Mahan

Anna Mahan

Anna Mahan joined the WAFF 48 News team in August of 2020.