When is Juneteenth? Always celebrated on June 19th!
" Commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, and is an official annual holiday in 29 of the United States."
Who celebrates this holiday?
Residents of the United States, especially African Americans in Texas-
"The holiday originated in Galveston, Texas; for more than a century, the state of Texas was the primary home of Juneteenth celebrations. However, one small community in Arkansas (Wilmar) boasts that its celebration, called "June Dinner" has been consistently observed and celebrated, except for one year, since approximately 1870. Since 1980, Juneteenth has been an official state holiday in Texas. It is considered a "partial staffing holiday" meaning that state offices do not close but some employees will be using a floating holiday to take the day off. Twelve other states list it as an official holiday, including Arkansas, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Alaska. In California, Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed June 19 "Juneteenth" on June 19, 2005, however, some of these states, such as Connecticut, do not consider it a legal holiday and do not close government offices in observance of the occasion. Its informal observance has spread to some other states, with a few celebrations even taking place in other countries."
As of June 2008, 29 states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or state holiday observance; these include Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
"Though the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863, it had minimal immediate effect on most slaves’ day-to-day lives, particularly in Texas, which was almost entirely under Confederate control. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. Legend has it while standing on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa, Granger read the contents of “General Order No. 3”:"
"The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere."
"That day has since become known as Juneteenth, a name derived from a portmanteau of the words June and nineteenth."
"Former slaves in Galveston rejoiced in the streets with jubilant celebrations. Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas the following year. Across many parts of Texas, freed people pooled their funds to purchase land specifically for their communities’ increasingly large Juneteenth gatherings — including Houston’s Emancipation Park, Mexia’s Booker T. Washington Park, and Emancipation Park in Austin. Juneteenth celebrations include a wide range of festivities, such as parades, street fairs, cookouts, or park parties and include such things as music and dancing or even contests of physical strength and intellect. Baseball and other popular American games may also be played."
"Juneteenth is traditionally celebrated with a large feast served as an all day meal in a park or outdoor space. The traditional dishes of Juneteenth are served pot luck and usually include portions of barbecue, cakes, fresh fruit and vegetables, and pies. The traditional cuisine of the Juneteenth celebration includes barbecue, greens, pies, baked bread, red soda, home-made ice cream, and watermelon."
"The food items of Juneteenth are steeped in tradition themselves. On the first Juneteenth in 1865 the formerly enslaved brothers held a feast to celebrate their freedom from chains by eating watermelon and red soda in Galveston."
"Other traditions include an annunciated public reading of the Emancipation Proclamation as a reminder that the slaves have been proclaimed free. Many African-American families use this opportunity to retrace their ancestry to the enslaved ancestors, who were held in bondage for centuries. Celebrants often sing traditional songs as well such as Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Lift Every Voice and Sing, and poetry from African-Americans authors like Maya Angelou."