Evening everyone! Today is Juneteenth. What is Juneteenth? I found this from the Brooklyn Museum, read below…
Today we honor Juneteenth, which refers to June 19, 1865, when Union general Gordon Granger read out federal orders declaring that all people previously enslaved in Texas were free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed people who were enslaved two and a half years earlier, these orders extended the Proclamation to more than 250,000 people in Texas, the most remote of the former Confederate states. While legally binding, these orders did not enable the freedom of people who were previously enslaved, and those who acted on the news risked violence and terror to actualize their rights. Through grassroots efforts, Black people in Texas reclaimed June 19 as “Juneteenth” a year later, in 1866, and it continues today as a celebration of Black liberation across the country.
To learn more, see Henry Louis Gates, Jr., “What Is Juneteenth?”
All of these elements come together in the Juneteenth flag, which uses the red, white, and blue color scheme of the American flag to honor the Black American experience during and after slavery. Created by Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF), and illustrated by Lisa Jeanne Graf, the flag also features a star in the middle as a reference to the Texas flag, paying homage to the state where Juneteenth was first celebrated. The 12-pointed burst spanning the curving blue and red planes represents the dawning of new rights and freedoms for previously enslaved Black Americans.
More to come this weekend! Celebrating into Saturday!