Kozi's Korner: JUNETEENTH 2017 - What is Juneteenth?

June 20, 2017
Written by Kenneth Kozi Arrington

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long overdue. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society. 

The celebrations that followed the reading of the proclamation by General Gordon Granger began a tradition that has lasted for one hundred and forty four years, and today is hosted in cities across America and beyond. The JUNETEENTH.com website is dedicated to this celebration and to those who tirelessly contribute to its continued existence and growth.

Juneteenth was on Monday, June 19, 2017