June 20, 2022
On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that all enslaved people in the Confederate states “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” However, the full promise of the Proclamation did not immediately reach certain segments of the African American community. In fact, it was not until June 19, 1865—more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation—that the enslaved individuals in Galveston, Texas finally learned that they were free people. June 19th or “Juneteenth” marks a day of remembrance, reflection, and appreciation for the African American community, as we celebrate the rights and freedoms we all share in this great nation. Juneteenth also serves as a solemn reminder of the important work that still lies before us in ensuring that the rights and privileges guaranteed to all people by the Constitution are in fact realized.