Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth marks an effective end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. — History.com
In 2012, Alabama became the 40th state to recognize Juneteenth through the passage of legislation sponsored by State Sen. Hank Sanders. Juneteenth, or June 19, was first recognized by Congress as Juneteenth Independence Day in 1997.
Read more about the history and celebrations of Juneteenth from the resources below.
Alabama 40th State to Recognize Juneteenth (National Juneteenth Observance Foundation, 2012)
History of Juneteenth (History.com)
National Registry Juneteenth Organizations and Supporters
A Brief History of Juneteenth (Time Magazine)
12 Things You Might Not Know About Juneteenth (Mental Floss.com)
What’s Juneteenth? A Guide to Celebrating America’s Second Independence Day
More Americans Should Know About Juneteenth (video explanation: 90 seconds)
Why Juneteenth is America’s True Independence Day (Ben and Jerry’s)
Organizations That Have Publicly Committed to Observing Juneteenth
Join Rabbis Sandra Lawson and Isaama Goldstein-Stoll for a special Kabbalat Shabbat service on Zoom to mark Juneteenth on Friday, June 19, at 4 p.m. CDT. The event is co-sponsored by Be’chol Lashon and Keshet. Registration is free but required: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEsd–rrz8tHtERvkx7KNlRpkX_Nn4eSg6A.
Power to the People will sponsor its Juneteenth Community Celebration Saturday, June 20, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Snow Hinton Park in Tuscaloosa. The family-friendly event will include voter registration, census registration, games and more. Participants should bring their own food, tents, tables, chairs, grills and other items as needed. Masks are mandatory and social distancing should be practiced. “This is a family event for all people to celebrate our past and future,” said Anthony Lavender, event organizer. For more information, visit Juneteenth Event in Tuscaloosa on Facebook.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will present the Fred Shuttleworth Human Rights Award, its highest honor, to Dr. Angela Y. Davis, global human rights activist, scholar, author and Birmingham native Dr. Angela Y. Davis Friday, June 19. The award honors outstanding individuals for their significant contributions to civil and human rights. The virtual event will take place at 7 p.m. and will feature a conversation between Dr. Davis and D. Wendy Greene, a professor at Drexel University. Greene is a history-making legal scholar and advocate who specializes in anti-discrimination law as well as comparative slavery and race relations law in the Americas and Caribbean. The free event is available for viewing online with registration.