While it might seem to some that all the fervor and discussion of Juneteenth has come on suddenly, activists, elected officials, and entertainers alike have worked in tandem and individually to push the day’s importance. Now an official federal holiday, Juneteenth will be celebrated annually and across Twitter, many are sharing in the joy in their own way while also reminding observers that there are many more miles to go.
More from Hip-Hop Wired’s explainer on Juneteenth from 2018:
President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which ended the legal practice of slavery, went into effect on January 1, 1863, a reluctant move on his part that satisfied the wants of abolitionists. On June 19, 1865, enslaved Blacks in Texas were finally alerted that they were freed and thus, Emancipation Day, better known as Juneteenth, was born.
Lincoln’s path to signing the proclamation was wrought with barriers that were mostly political, if not racially motivated. Slavery was a big business and with the Union victorious over the southern Confederate states, there was some resentment for the North’s desire to do away with one of its best money makers in slavery. Lincoln treaded carefully but signed the law in 1862 before it went into effect.
On that day in 1865, Union troops made their way to the coastal city of Galveston, Texas. The state was, like many southern and non-battleground states, was resistant to ending slavery. However, the law of the land prevailed and the slaves being held in bondage finally enjoyed true freedom. But as expected, the newly emancipated were given their “Freedom Day” with a bit of a warning.
We suggest readers take in the entire post for more.
And while there has been some pushback from the likes of conservative pundits we won’t dignify today by mentioning them, the response to Juneteenth emerging rightfully as a federal holiday has received notable reactions. We’ve got those Twitter reactions listed out below.
Visit the official Juneteenth page here.