The video above is the behind the scenes of this year's 'Google Doodle' for Juneteenth.
On January 1st, 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was set into effect and legally ended American slavery. However, it took two and a half years for the word to reach enslaved people in Texas. On June 19th, 1865 Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to deliver the news. Today, June 19th is known as the day enslavement ended and all Black-Americans were freed.
The next year marked the first celebration of Juneteenth. Later, in 1872, a group bought ten acres of land in Houston, Texas at a price of $800 for the annual celebration. The plot of land was named Emancipation Park and is still used for Juneteenth today. Traditionally, the celebrations include parades, storytelling, and barbeque. Many celebrations also have red colored food and drinks as a symbol of resilience.
Today marks the 155th Juneteenth celebration. Many states recognize Juneteenth as a holiday but it has yet to be recognized federally. There is no other holiday that acknowledges the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. Many Americans had no idea what the day of celebration was until recently. For the United States to embrace Juneteenth, it would require us to look at the nasty parts of our history and be honest with ourselves when it comes to how we’ve treated the Black Community for hundreds of years. Which is exactly what we need to do.
It’s time to celebrate Black Culture and history as American History. It’s time to make a change.