Celebrate Juneteenth!

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June 19th is celebrated for the emancipation of slaves in the United States. Read about its history and resurgence as a cultural milestone!

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, is an annual celebration in the United States recognizing the freedom of slaves at the end of the American Civil War. The celebration has become increasingly recognized throughout the United States in the past 20 years, and was officially made a federal holiday just yesterday. Prior to this week, 49 of the 50 states had an official legal observation of Juneteenth, multiple resolutions in Congress were passed recognizing June 19th as Juneteenth Independence Day, and the past three presidents all made statements acknowledging it as a day of celebration.

In recognition of tomorrow’s celebration, DeviantArt would like to share some of Juneteenth’s history with you!

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The name Juneteenth is a portmanteau of the date chosen for the celebration, June 19th, and the date was chosen for the day General Order No. 3 was announced in Texas. Officially, slavery had been outlawed by federal law in 1863 by President Lincoln, but because enforcing that law was dependent on the advancement of Union troops—and because of Texas’s geographic distance from most of the states of the Union—it wasn’t until June 19th, 1865, that the law was delivered to Texas, the last of the slave states.

General Order No. 3 decreed that all slaves are free, though slavery was still legal and practiced in some states until the 13th Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery nationwide. Despite this, Juneteenth celebrations focus on the freedom of slaves in the US based on the delivery of General Order No. 3 specifically because celebrations of Juneteenth began in Texas.

Cultural Resurgence

Juneteenth spread elsewhere across the US in the decades that followed, primarily tied to food festivals, but it has seen a heavy resurgence in popularity since the 1970s, initially in the wake of focus on African American freedom and arts, and more recently in the wake of protests and rallies relating to the Black Lives Matter movement. From a legal standpoint, Juneteenth was first recognized as a state holiday in Texas in 1980, and has been recognized at the state level across the nation in the 41 years since then.

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Juneteenth Captain America

Until this year, Juneteenth was not federally recognized as an official holiday. There were increasing pushes for it to be recognized as a holiday, including a number of resolutions in Congress, but was officially signed into law as a federal holiday on June 17th, 2021. At the state level prior to 2021, Texas, Virginia, New York, and New Jersey made Juneteenth a paid day of leave for state employees, and only South Dakota did not have state-level recognition of Juneteenth as a day of celebration.

Your Thoughts

  1. Have you celebrated Juneteenth before? If so, what was most memorable about it to you?

  2. For international deviants, do you know of similar celebrations of historical events around liberation in your area? If so, share about them in your comment!

June 2020 - Illustration 4: Happy Juneteenth!

Though we look to the past in celebration of Juneteenth, it is important to also look forward to the future and what can be done to combat injustice. Join us in July for a series of weekly articles with Trap Heals, the creative agency representing Black Lives Matter, covering their thoughts of the present and what to watch out for and work toward in the future.

© 2021 team
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ariotaku's avatar
  1. I have celebrated before. I use Juneteenth for research on black history, and I try to share what I learn.

I also use Juneteenth to be thankful that I live in a time and place where it is socially acceptable to associate with people of other races or nationalities. Of course, there are still so many problems facing the black community and more needs to be done.

mixa18's avatar
  1. Learn about the blacks history

  2. National Doughnut Day World wide knit public day

  3. June 19,1865 When Texas Is the last to heard new that black people are free slavery

VinZo-Art's avatar
  1. No, I didn't.

  2. Yes. Jun. 17, 1953 - Historic day for Germany.

Less than four years after its founding, the GDR is on the verge of its end: only with the help of Soviet tanks is the SED regime able to put down a popular uprising and thus stifle calls for free elections and the reunification of Germany.

Until 1990, June 17th is therefore a celebration and Memorial Day in the Federal Republic of Germany: the day of German unity. When it became a reality on October 3, 1990, October 3 became German Unity Day.

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Kitty7807's avatar

I love how many ppl here just want badges lol (and they've made it quite clear)

drachenmagier's avatar

What badge? :confused: There is a badge?

Kitty7807's avatar

There is no badge HERE but many ppl here in the comments were just saying "give us more badge events" lol

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fiorinosulaco's avatar

1) Not yet.

2) no.

Tenebra-Fengari's avatar

1) Although I'm an African-American myself, I've never celebrated Juneteenth. But it isn't the first time I've heard of it—I learned about Juneteenth in 2019 while I was volunteering for a non-profit organization called Black Girls Code. At any rate, I'm very happy that it's now a federal holiday :D

2) I lived in the U.S. my whole life, but I'd like to learn about similar holidays from around the world ^^

Starrtoon's avatar

give us more badge events

YoungArtistic's avatar
  • Have you celebrated the eleventh month before? If so, what was most memorable for you?

I had never heard of it until now, but slavery and racism were always bad.

  • For international deviants, do you know of similar celebrations of historical events around liberation in your area? If yes, share about them in your comment! The only liberation party I can think of is Independence Day.

  • And I think it's great that there is more attention to this issue

niotabunny's avatar

it's always a great milestone when America and the world makes an official holiday to mark history events both good and bad. we repeat enough history as it is, we need to remember these events and reflect so we can avoid them in the future and help free those enslaved to this day.

outlire's avatar

1. Have you celebrated Juneteenth before? If so, what was most memorable about it to you? I've never heard about Juneteenth until today, but slavery and racism always upset me. I'm glad there is more attention towards those issues now.

2. For international deviants, do you know of similar celebrations of historical events around liberation in your area? If so, share about them in your comment! I am American, and the only liberation celebration I can think of is Independence Day. We kind of did celebrate the 50th Anniversary of D-Day last century. I guess that D-Day could be the beginning of a liberation.

BridalSpirit007's avatar
  1. I'd never had celebrated Juneteenth before

  2. I'd watched movies and tv shows and played video game. I actually admired African-American celebrities.

AylaCrafterArts's avatar
  1. I never experienced it or heard about it.

  2. I guess we have Independence Day in here, during June 12.

ThatWasLeftHanded's avatar

It's a recently introduced US holiday.

SolGravionMegazord's avatar


Shut up, sect idiot.

Shippergal6001's avatar

I've never celebrated it before but im willing since i want o celebrate my ancestors

I dont have any celebrations around where i live about this

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