Juneteenth Day: A Day of Refletion and Celebration of Freedom

Juneteenth Independence Day honors African American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures and is a time for reflection and rejoicing. The U.S. Congress has designated June 19 as “Juneteenth Independence Day” (also called Freedom Day and Emancipation Day)to recognize the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day to the United States. The district encourages everyone to learn more about the past, to understand better the experiences that have shaped this country. Juneteenth recognizes the end of slavery as a part of the history and heritage of the United States.

“As a school district, we are committed to equity and ensuring high outcomes for all,” said Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney. “We have ensured that our five-year strategic plan maintains our focus on high-quality teaching and learning. That includes creating systems that increase opportunities and positive outcomes for all. We affirm our commitment to ensuring all our students learn in environments where they feel safe and valued — where their voices are heard. Together, we will continue to build diversity and inclusiveness.

“Juneteenth is also a time to highlight the resilience, solidarity, and culture of the Black community. It is a time to celebrate the freedoms and lives that generations have fought to secure. I encourage everyone in our community to explore the history of Juneteenth and participate in local celebrations.”

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of those enslaved in the United States. On June 19, 1865, the announcement of the abolition of slavery and the freedom of enslaved African Americans reached the people in Galveston, Texas. The news came two years after The Emancipation Proclamation was issued. That day began the tradition of celebrating Freedom Day. The news created an annual celebration to remember the past and to look to the future. Juneteenth is celebrated annually with gatherings, parades, and special programs. Texas was the first state to establish it as a holiday in 1979.

In 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday. The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act is the first new legal public holiday created since Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was signed into law in 1983 by Ronald Reagan.

Share how you will observe and celebrate Juneteenth using the hashtags #Juneteenth and #AldineForward on social media.