What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) is a holiday commemorating June 19th, 1865, the day on which slavery was effectively ended in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all enslaved people in the Confederacy, had taken effect two-and-a-half years beforehand, slaves in Texas still had not been freed. On June 19th, 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to issue and enforce General Order Number 3, which stated that all slaves were free, and that freedmen would now work for wages instead of performing unpaid labor. Over 100 years later in 1980, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday, and in 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday.

Honoring Juneteenth

Juneteenth Resources

Thanks to Ron Brown, CEO of the Pennsylvania Juneteenth Coalition, for his generosity and time in sharing resources and research about Juneteenth.

Louis Gates, Jr., H. (n.d.). What is Juneteenth? PBS.
National Museum of African American History & Culture. (n.d.). The historical legacy of Juneteenth.
Nix, E. (2015). What is Juneteenth? History.
The Key. (2020). Resources for understanding and celebrating Juneteenth.
The Philadelphia Inquirer. (2020). What is Juneteenth? A day to reflect on freedom [Video]. YouTube.
Absolute Equality Mural: From the Juneteenth Legacy Project. Galveston Monthly Magazine.
Penn Med
"The Fugitive's Story" (copy) 1869 by John Rogers at Penn Hospital Medicine - Pennsylvania Hospital

University of Pennsylvania Resources

"Power" by Oladimeji Odunsi, 2018
Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. (2020). In honor of Juneteenth, videos and other civic education resources.
de Groot, K., García, K., & Shepard, L. (2020). Juneteenth: A day for reflection, conversation, and learning. Penn Today.
Gutmann, W., Pritchett, W., Carnaroli, C., & Mitchell, J. (2020). Juneteenth: An important day for Reflection. University of Pennsylvania Almanac.
Greer Polite, F. (2020). Celebrating Juneteenth – Continuing our movement. Penn Medicine.
Penn Libraries News. (2020). Diversity in the (virtual) stacks: Juneteenth. Penn Libraries, Universisty of Pennsylvania.
The Wharton School. (n.d.). Taking time to reflect: How to celebrate Juneteenth. Wharton Stories.

Research & Archives

Bratter, J., Byrd, A., DesRoches, R., Hayes, M., Hebl., M., King, D., Matthews, P. J., McDaniel, C., Sidbury, J., & Torres, M. (2020). Reflections on Juneteenth and America’s racial legacy lectures. Rice Digital Scholarship Archive.
Smith, E. (2022).  Juneteenth: Fact Sheet. Congressional Research Service.
Hume, J., & Arceneaux, N. (2019). Public memory, cultural legacy, and press coverage of the Juneteenth Revival. Journalism History.
Library of Congress. (n.d.). Voices remembering slavery: freed people tell their stories.

The Representative. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 6, Ed. 1 Monday, June 26, 1871

ny public library
Formerly enslaved woman in her house near Greensboro, Alabama. Jack, Delano, 1941. New York Public Library
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Washington DC

How can I honor and celebrate Juneteenth?

Black Lives Matter: Ways you can help.
Hillman, M. (2020). 10 Things we want white people to do to celebrate Juneteenth. Wayside Youth & Family Support Network.
How to celebrate Juneteenth.
Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival.
Posey, K. (2020). 6 local and national black organizations seeking donations. The Red & Black.