So, you want to learn about Juneteenth? Juneteenth has gained much attention over the last several days with it recently being designated as a National Holiday. However, all of the talk has also prompted many people to realize they do not know what Juneteenth is.
The History of Juneteenth
In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. However, it wouldn’t be until two and a half years later that slaves in Texas would learn of their freedom. On June 19, 1865, a couple of months after the surrender of the Confederacy in Appomattox, Virginia, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas. Once there, they were able to inform the slaves of their freedom. There were immediate celebrations in light of this news. The following year, the freed slaves once again celebrated June 19 and from them on, Juneteenth celebrations have become a tradition.
The holiday received its name by combining June and 19 to Juneteenth. “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day,” or “Emancipation Day” are also other names for this holiday.
How is Juneteenth celebrated?
In 2020, we celebrated online (because of quarantine) with the Carver Museum’s online event. This year we celebrate the holiday as a Federally recognized holiday! On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth became the 11th holiday recognized by the federal government. On June 15, 2021, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to federally recognize the day, and the House approved the bill the following day. President Biden then signed the bill into law on June 17. Creating a national observance of this new holiday.
Saturday, some Juneteenth celebrations happen with families across the nation. Typically, these events will include religious services, prayer, speeches, festivals, and educational events. See below for a local opportunities to celebrate with our community!
From our staff & friends
Amber Boyd– Head Women’s Buyer
Juneteenth is an important event everyone should educate themselves on. The holiday tells the story of black liberation that is a cause for celebration and acceptance nationwide. My hope is that ALL Americans understand that they are active participants in the Juneteenth story. Although there are still countless years of work left to be done- we are happy to celebrate this historical moment of true FREEDOM.
“Lift every voice and sing Till earth and heaven ring Ring with the harmonies of Liberty Let our rejoicing rise High as the listening skies Let it resound loud as the rolling sea Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us Facing the rising sun of our new day begun Let us march on till victory is won” - James Weldon Johnson
Zahn’evia Hayes- Sales Associate
I celebrate this day because my ancestors, and many black American ancestors, fought for this day. For many years we didn’t have freedom nor freedom of speech. Because of this, I am proud to celebrate this day for myself and my fellow black Americans.
Talor Waymon- EEO Model
Progress takes time. But with each generation, I believe that healing and awareness will only become more prominent- because of historical landmarks like Juneteenth. And that’s something we ALL should have the opportunity to witness in this day and age.
Tri-State Expo: Dothan will be hosting a Juneteenth celebration this Saturday in Downtown Dothan. Their will be a parade, rain or shine. (bring an umbrella just incase) Come join the celebration inside the Dothan Civic Center including food trucks, vendors, kids zone, fashion show, concerts, and advertised health services. Want to see The Stage Play or enjoy a special tasting? Visit the Dothan Civic Center box office for tickets.
Eagle Eye Outfitters is a family run small business that offers radical customer service for shoppers for all of their outdoor and fashion apparel, accessories, and footwear needs. Our community is why we are here. As a locally owned, small business, we do our best to plug in and give back as much as we can. Our company’s motto is “See a need, meet a need.”