New Orleans, June 19, 2015 / JUNETEENTH.com -- The observance of Juneteenth is about the journey and achievements of African Americans - from a horrific period of sanctioned enslavement to the pinnacle of human endeavors. It is a story of pride, resilience and determination that will always be of historical and spiritual importance – as it serves us well to understand that together, we can overcome all obstacles in our path.
As we know it, June 19th 1865, was the day word reached the enslaved in Galveston, Texas that their emancipation had been made formal, though it had been so since January, 1, 1863. And with those words, our country changed, this world changed. And, with bold and contentious decisions, we have continued to change – striving always to make it right, to make it better for all.
On this, the 150th Anniversary, we take the opportunity to look back at a century-and-a-half journey of progress. We pay homage to those who have gone before us, those that have paved the road to freedom and justice – many with their lives. We stand on their shoulders. From the bottom of a slave ship to the oval office of the United StaesAs a collective, from all walks of life, we celebrate the victories achieved.
Through grass roots organizing and community collaboration we enjoy the creativity and dedication that produce celebrations from the dinner table to the backyard barbeque, from the neighborhood block party to the city wide parade, and from the school cafeteria to the corporate conference room. This year many many more will join in and celebrate this 150th year milestone.
There is no governing body that sanctions or approves Juneteenth celebrations or Juneteenth organizations. It's beauty lies in it's independence. We encourage everyone to participate in a local event or start their own tradition. Strengthening the ties that bind us should always be our objective. Unity and peace are our goals.
As we pay tribute to the journey, we acknowledge the many roles and contributions of the African American spirit to our society. We embrace the past as well as the future that only unity, respect and appreciation can bring. To the countless supporters, organizers, participants and attendees of Juneteenth celebrations hosted all across this nation and beyond, you are writing the history of our country and our world – there can be no greater honor than that. We thank you.
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