What is Juneteenth?

Find out more about our festival HERE 

 

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a national celebration of the emancipation from slavery in 1865. In 1865 freedom was achieved in many ways, some fought the confederate troops, others escaped and ran. With the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment, enforced in December of 1865, African Americans were liberated from Confederate territories where slavery became illegal. While 4 million enslaved people were granted their freedom before the end of the civil war, other states such as Texas was a refuge for slave owners who held African American people as property, some say 1-2 years after Abraham Lincoln had already declared an end to slavery. Finally, on June 19th, enslaved people in Texas were granted their freedom.

“This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."

By 1900 African American people in Texas celebrated June 19th unofficially as Emancipation day, supported by churches and civic organizations. In 1980 Juneteenth became an official holiday in Texas and by 1997 US Congress officially recognized the day as ‘Juneteenth Independence Day.’

Why Should We Celebrate?

All over the world people celebrate Juneteenth to recognize our ancestor’s liberation from slavery, not as a historic event of our past, but as a triumph and achievement for Black people in America, that is still relevant today. This day remains as one of the many reminders of how powerful and resilient we are as a group of people, in our daily fight to justify our human rights and equality in America. Black people in America have tried to be eradicated in a myriad of ways, but Juneteenth reinforces the solidarity of our traditions, culture and our history that continues to make us stronger.

How Can We Celebrate?

People celebrate by holding festivals, family gatherings, contests, games and giving back to their communities. As ‘A Home for Black Excellence’’ PGAAMCC proudly presents the #MoreThanAMonth four-day festival, full of joy, cultural excitement and entertainment for the whole family, this June 19th through Saturday June 22nd culminating in a community block party 12-7pm. Our 2019 theme is inspired by the honorable Marcus Garvey’s quote, “Up You Mighty Race, Accomplish What You Will!” Marcus Garvey, Jamaican born Pan-African icon, was instrumental in establishing a historic mass movement for the liberation of Black people all over the world. Central to his message was political, social and economic self-determination. He organized the Black Star Line, a ship organized to trade commerce between Africans on the west and the African continent.

We recognize past accomplishments across the African diaspora, and seek to empower Black futures, innovators, and community influencers. Our festival emphasizes themes on freedom, black excellence, survival, resilience, and victory. Our festivals support Black owned vendors, artists, cultural organizations, and arts entrepreneurs. Join us in the celebration of Juneteenth. Find out more HERE!