A Quick Guide to The Emancipation Proclamation and Juneteenth
Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. It stipulated that by January 1st, 1863 that “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
The Emancipation Proclamation was not initially supported by President Lincoln’s cabinet secretaries. They feared it was too radical. The Emancipation Proclamation applied only to enslaved people living in southern states that supported the Confederacy. In 1865, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States.
June 19, 1865 is the day that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas received the news of the Emancipation Proclamation. It has been recorded that many of the newly freed people began to celebrate with prayers, songs and dancing! June 19th has become known as Juneteenth and for over 150 years African Americans and others have celebrated this occasion.
Ideas for Celebrating Juneteenth
In the Workplace: Recognizing Juneteenth in the workplace helps to support a climate of diversity. Our current practice of social distancing does not support large in-person gatherings for discussions or workshops.
We encourage you to consider sending out an email that includes resources to learn more about Juneteenth. You may also contact the YWCA Rock County to schedule a workshop for your organization to learn more about racial justice work in order to become (or continue to be) an effective ally. Email Amiee Leavy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
At Home: Planning a special meal, enjoying great music and finding ways to connect with family and friends is a great way to celebrate Juneteenth.
For Children: There are a variety of children books which offer age-appropriate stories related to Juneteenth, that includes All Different Now by Angela Johnson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, which is a wonderful resource for the entire family.