Juneteenth is a holiday that grew out of the celebration of former slaves learning of their emancipation from Union troops on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas. Although they were technically free before that date, slaveowners did not share the news, and thus it was not until Union troops arrived and could enforce emancipation that African Americans could leave their enslaved positions. So, it was not until over two months after the Civil War officially ended, and over a year and a half after the Emancipation Proclamation, that the now-former slaves in Texas started to experience freedom. While Black people in Galveston have celebrated Juneteenth since June 19, 1866, it has taken time to become a mainstream holiday.
Naturally, June 19th became a day to celebrate because it represented not only freedom, but hope for better times in the future.
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