In 1863, during the Americal Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared more than three million slaves living in the Confederate states to be free. More than two years would pass, however, before the news reached African Americans living in Texas. It was not until Union soldiers arrived Galveston, TX, on June 19, 1865, that the state's residents finally learned that slavery had been aboloished. The former slaves immediately began to celebrate with prayer, feasting, song, and dance. The following year, on June 19, the first official Juneteenth celebrations took place in Texas.
Juneteenth became a state holiday in Texas in 1980, and a number of other states subsequently folowed suit. Celebrations have continued across the United States into the 21st century and typically include prayer and religious services, speeches, educations events, family gatherings and picnics, and festivals with music, food, and dancing.
Why is Juneteenth so important? It gives African-Americans (and everyone living in America) a sense of togetherness. You don't have to be African-American to join in celebrating the anniversary of the end of slavery. Many people of all skin colors fought tirelessly to end slavery. The end of slavery was the beginning of togetherness.
ACF USA Vision
ACF shall be a thriving Christian Community that models integrity, excellence, and compassion to mobilize and empower Africans worldwide to impact their generation and Africa.