Juneteenth is a special celebration on June 19th that commemorates the end of the United States’ historic practice of slavery. In this sense, Juneteenth is a day for honoring the “freedom” of all people living in the United States.
Whether you grew up celebrating Juneteenth or have never heard of it, here’s what you need to know about Juneteenth’s meaning, how the holiday came to be and why it matters to so many people.
Many people think of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation (issued on January 1, 1863) as the official end of slavery. And while that’s not entirely untrue, many African descendants remained enslaved for several years after the proclamation was made. That’s because Lincoln’s decree was primarily intended to preserve the Union rather than to abolish slavery.
In an open letter to Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, Lincoln stated, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery.”
“If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by
— source teenvogue.com | Jameelah Nasheed | Jun 10, 2021