NBSB Recognizes Juneteenth

Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Liberation Day and even Emancipation Day. This is a National holiday to celebrate the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

The holiday’s recognition started in Texas when it was announced the war had ended, and those who were enslaved were free. This historic day in 1865 opened the door for equality. Even though Abraham Lincoln was the one responsible for freeing the enslaved people with his “Emancipation Proclamation,” it was not until 2 ½ years after that day that General Lee and his regime arrived with forces that were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance, this day was June 19,1865.

Although the journey to equality for our nation is not finished, progress has been made. It is important to remember that we are still responsible to do the right thing and treat all people equally and fairly. The way you act, the way you treat others, all of that reflects who you are. Juneteenth is an important day and a reminder of how far our country has come and yet what work we have left to do.

Today Juneteenth is a large celebration in many communities, but it was not always so. Directly after the emancipation it was still unapproved by many communities to hold these celebrations, forcing many to take their festivities into remote areas such as nearby creeks or other rural areas off the beaten path.

In past years there has been a noticeable decline in the existence of these events. In fact, many textbooks still state that the date of the emancipation proclamation freed the enslaved and ended the war, with no mention of General Granger’s regime and their arrival on June 19th.

Juneteenth today is focused on education and awareness. These festivities include everything from prayer services, rodeos, fishing, baseball, and barbeque to name just a few. Clothing is an important piece as well. There were laws throughout the years of slavery limiting what the enslaved could wear. This resulted in a “dress to impress” affair, remembering the first time for many that they had freedom in what to wear.

Today we see these celebrations pop up on June 19th as large-scale events. Many even hosted by the Smithsonian Museum and Henry Ford Museum. In 2020 especially, the equality movement made huge strides and gained more serious momentum. It is our responsibility to keep the importance of this day always in mind and honor the true meaning of freedom and support equality, diversity, and inclusion not just in the workplace but on every level.

How to get involved:

  • Start a Facebook fundraiser
  • Donate or volunteer.
  • Use #juneteenth on social media to share your celebrations.
  • Sign a petition.
    • Hawaii, North Dakota, and South Dakota currently do not consider Juneteenth a holiday. A petition to form this as a national holiday could help everyone celebrate freedom for all.
  • Continue fighting for black lives. Although we make strides each day as a country, we are still far from true equality.


To learn more or read the full history of Juneteenth click here.