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Juneteenth honors the legal end of slavery rather than a political strategy like that which inspired the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. The original intent of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was to preserve the Union and weaken the South—rather than take a moral position on slavery. It took until the Thirteenth Amendment’s passing in April 1865 to seal a complete, legal, and constitutional abolishment of slave ownership, then several weeks more for word of abolishment to spread throughout the country. 

Also, celebrating Juneteenth means giving time and attention to a moment in history that continues to define American identity. It is as celebratory as it is reflective, with the potential to galvanize further social change. Memorializing Juneteenth doesn’t just occur in parades and barbecues. Understanding racism throughout all American history is an important way to mark the occasion.

Book & Movie Recommendations

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Articles & Information

So You Want to Learn about Juneteenth? by Derrick Bryson Taylor
This June 15, 2020 New York Times article outlines what Juneteenth is, its history, how it is celebrated, as well as its importance in 2020.

History of Juneteenth
The Juneteen.com is a comprehensive site with historical information as well as a collection of Juneteenth events.

Why Celebrating Juneteenth is More Important Now than Ever by P.R. Lockhart
This 2018 VOX article includes a discussion with Karlos Hill, professor of African American studiesn at the University of Oklahmom and the author of Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory on why Juneteenth is an important holiday.

What is Juneteenth, How Is It Celebrated, and Why Does it Matter? by Jameelah Nasheed
This 2019 Teen Vogue article outlines the history of Juneteenth, how it is celebrated, and why.

 

Events

Forest Park Against Racism
Juneteenth 2020: “Meet Us at the Bridge”
Friday, June 19 at 6 pm

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Resilience
Friday, June 19-Saturday, June 20- All Day
A Virtual Event with the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington DC.

Juneteenth Live Stream with the Historical Society of Forest Park
Saturday, June 20 at 3 pm
Join the Historical Society of Forest Park on Facebook Live to celebrate Juneteenth with Marvin Tate, a multidisciplinary Artist and Educator.