If you’re unfamiliar with Juneteenth, also known as “Freedom Day,” “Jubilee Day,” or “Emancipation Day,” here’s a tiny bit of the history behind it:
Juneteenth, the combination of “June” and “nineteenth,” represents June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger led forces into Galveston, Texas, to deliver an important message. Granger informed thousands of enslaved people that the Civil War had finally been won, and they were free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Lincoln two years prior, on January 1, 1863, it could finally be enforced, and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution would be ratified later in 1865. We commemorate Juneteenth as a major historic milestone on the path to freedom for millions of Americans.
Over the years, Juneteenth has been celebrated as a day for healing and advocacy for Black Americans and is a celebration of freedom and Black culture. In honor of Juneteenth this year, Journeys and our parent company, Genesco, donated $20,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to support their mission of protecting voting rights, reforming criminal justice systems, achieving education equity, and ensuring economic justice for all.
The NAACP wants people to “Celebrate Juneteenth by taking action to progress policies to give Black Americans equal opportunity throughout the nation.”
We encourage you to learn more about the history of Juneteenth from The Juneteenth Foundation and to see how you can support the fight for social justice and equal opportunity at NAACP.org.