Juneteenth – A Day to Acknowledge & Celebrate

Juneteenth National Independence Day is our nations first federal holiday established since Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year, Juneteenth will be commemorated on Saturday, June 19th.

“Juneteenth being made a Federal Holiday is long overdue. It’s sad that our children weren’t taught Black History in school. Had they been taught they would know all the GREAT things we as Black people contributed to the World in which we live.”
– Belinda Joyner, Clean Water for NC

Juneteenth, also called Emancipation Day, Freedom Day or Freedom Day or Jubilee Day commemorates June 19, 1865, as the day enslaved African Americans in Galveston, TX learned they were free. While the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863 and the 13th Amendment was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, the news was slow to reach people in Texas. Finally on June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger with Union troops landed in Galveston and read aloud General Orders 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.”

While this is a step toward recognizing America’s true history, let us not forget that many states are banning critical race theory in schools, and many Americans are just now waking up to the significance of the historic event of Juneteenth.

Clean Water for NC stands in solidarity with Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other people of color and continues to work with leaders and community members toward Environmental and Racial Justice.

There are many opportunities to get involved in the Juneteenth festivities across the state – not just on June 19th, but all month long!

The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources has put together a great list of virtual and on-line events you can take part in to celebrate Juneteenth!
The Cookout – A Celebration in Honor of Juneteenth (Chapel Hill) – Hosted by North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign Cultural Arts Committee
Counselors Not Cops Coalition Presents: A Juneteenth Movie Night (Raleigh) – Hosted by the Education Justice Alliance
GRINDfest 2021 (Asheville) – Hosted by Black Wall Street AVL & PartnersChapel Hill – Carborro Juneteenth Festival (Chapel Hill and remotely)

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