Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery, and centers on the arrival of Union troops to Texas on June 19, 1865 with news of emancipation – although the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued 2 ½ years earlier. But Juneteenth did not mean immediate freedom for everyone. Enslaved people in Native American territories had to wait another year for freedom. And despite the legal end of slavery, white Southerners swiftly enacted racist laws, called “Black Codes,” that restricted Black people’s freedom for decades to come.
Die USA werden künftig mit einem landesweiten Feiertag an das Ende der Sklaverei erinnern. Der Gedenktag „Juneteenth“, der 19. Juni, der das Ende der Sklaverei markiert, wurde zum elften landesweiten Feiertag erklärt. US-Präsident Joe Biden setzte eine entsprechende Gesetzesvorlage nach der Verabschiedung durch beide Kammern des Kongresses in Kraft.
Tensions around race and policing in the U.S. exploded May 25 when George Floyd was killed by four Minneapolis police officers. The ongoing protest movement sparked by his death has transfixed the nation and led to a surging demand to transform how policing is done in the U.S. and to address the underlying racism and economic inequality that remains pervasive across the country.
Juneteenth commemorates the freedom for the last of enslaved populations in the remote location of Galveston, Texas — two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863.
Dozens of planned demonstrations throughout D.C. come in the wake of four weeks of protest over police brutality and George Floyd’s killing. Those coming to rally will mix the joy of the holiday with the passion for change.
We are bringing you live coverage from locations around Washington, D.C.
Watch the celebrations commemorating one of America’s most pivotal historical turning points.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Tuesday he will make Juneteenth a paid holiday for all executive branch employees and introduce a bill making it a statewide paid holiday.