What is Juneteenth?
One of the first things that I noticed on my first day at Bridgeworth was that Juneteenth was on the calendar. I was delighted to see that Bridgeworth recognized Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Some of you may have asked what exactly Juneteenth is, as this is the first year that it is recognized as a Federal Holiday and a New Market Holiday, declared by the New York Stock Exchange. Annually celebrated on June 19th, Juneteenth became recognized as the 11th Federal Holiday on June 17th, 2021, as President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.
Juneteenth may be similarly known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Jubilee Day. On June 19th, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was read to Texas enslaved people, and all African Americans in the United States were officially emancipated from slavery. Juneteenth: Fact Sheet. (2021).
History of Juneteenth
Although the Emancipation Proclamation was read to enslaved Texans in 1865, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863. In the interim, the Civil War was ongoing. “Roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives, 476,000 men were wounded, and 400,000 men were captured or missing.” Civil War Casualties. (2022). Americans in the United States hark back on the history surrounding slavery and the substantial loss of life to gain absolute equality.
The United States commemorates Juneteenth with nationwide celebrations such as parades, cookouts, readings and performances. Americans may pay homage to this holiday by indoctrinating black-owned businesses across the country. Named in honor of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama, Creed 63 was launched on Juneteenth as a black-owned, co-working space in Birmingham and a resource for entrepreneurs everywhere. For more information on black-owned businesses in Birmingham, please visit the Alabama State Black Chamber of Commerce at https://alblackcc.org.
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