Juneteenth, which dates back to 1865, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the day, on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, when slaves in Texas, the last stronghold of slavery in the Union, finally received the news that the Civil War had ended and that they were free.
Often celebrated with group gatherings that include traditional food, music and singing, Juneteenth is an opportunity to acknowledge the African American spirit and pay tribute to the many contributions which African-Americans have made that have enriched our society and the world. To learn more about the history and tradition of Juneteenth, visit the Juneteenth.com website, or click here to go to the history page of the site.
In addition, Cleveland’s Karamu House, America’s oldest African American producing theatre, will stream “Freedom on Juneteenth,” an evening of music, spoken work, dance and conversation this Friday, June 19, at 7 p.m. For information about the event and how to stream it, visit www.FreedomOnJuneteenth.org