Juneteeth, the nation’s 12th national holiday that is ​officially recognized on June 19th as the oldest celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, draws a great deal of justifiable, ever-growing attention, and 2024 is no different.

The holiday originated in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to commemorate when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. It was about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in Southern states. In 2021, President Biden declared Juneteenth a federal holiday.

June 19 is a monumentally important day in the history of the United States. On that day in 1865, General Gordon Granger brought 2000 troops to Galveston, TX to issue General Order No. 3, a legal decree that enforced the Emancipation Proclamation and led to the freeing of nearly a quarter million slaves. Up until the actions of General Granger, Texas refused to comply with President Lincoln’s executive order.

A year later, the first Juneteenth celebration was held to commemorate the occasion and it’s been happening ever since. In 2021, Juneteenth was officially recognized as a federal holiday.

And, that’s about the time a certain segment of our country’s population became aware of Juneteenth. Just because the holiday seemingly appeared overnight, doesn’t mean it wasn’t always there.

First and foremost, the history of Juneteenth is one of celebration- filled with games, food, and music. As the holiday evolved through the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights movement, education started to play a bigger role as voting drives and speeches from community leaders found a seat at the table during the day’s proceedings. Then finally, there’s the agitation in reminding those who choose to ignore history that it all really happened and by acknowledging it, there’s a better chance that society doesn’t find a way to repeat itself.

In honor of Juneteenth on June 19th, please take some time to celebrateeducate, and possibly agitate (if you feel like sharing what you’ve learned with your favorite ranting Facebook uncle).

The MV Juneteenth 3v3 Basketball Tournament is organized and . It is part of Mill Valley’s Annual Celebration of African American Freedom Day.


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