6 Things You Should Know About Juneteenth
(1. On "Freedom's Eve" (January 1st, 1863), The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. Enslaved African Americans were declared legally free across the Confederate States. However, not everyone was immediately proclaimed free.)
(2. The westernmost Confederate state, Texas, enslaved people were not declared free until June 19th, 1865 - Juneteenth.
3. Even then, not all were free. Some slave masters did not tell their slaves that they had been freed, and kept them working.)
(4. The Reconstruction period (1865-1877) was a time of hope, struggle, and unpredictability. Previously enslaved African Americans worked to reunify their families, push legislation, create schools, and even sue their former slave owners.)
(5. In the 1870s, a group of former slaves purchased ten acres of land in Houston to create Emancipation Park that would go on to host future Juneteenth celebrations.)
(6. On June 17th, 2021, Juneteenth (finally) became noticed as a federal holiday.)