On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Texas were told they were free. More than 150 years later, people across the U.S. and the world continue to celebrate this day, now a federal holiday.
It’s a day to reflect on our past, and focus on progressing policies to give Black Americans equal opportunity throughout the nation.
Here are 5 important facts about Juneteenth:
- Juneteenth arrived two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln, when more than 250,000 enslaved Black Americans finally gained their freedom in Galveston Bay, Texas.
- Initially, Juneteenth was honored in Texas and the surrounding states, gaining widespread popularity during the 1950s and 60s. Today, Juneteenth is also recognized outside of the US by those seeking to honor the culture and achievements of Black Americans.
- Many Black Americans wanted to celebrate their freedom throughout the 1900s but didn’t feel safe doing so under persistent oppression.
- Although Juneteenth was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, it is important to note that slavery is still considered legal in many states to this day.
- Despite only recently being recognized as a federal holiday, Juneteenth is a staple of the African American community, one which is cherished and celebrated with fellowship and love.
How to Support Juneteenth with Fetch Rewards
Ahead of Juneteenth, we invite you to take action to celebrate and ensure freedom for all. This happens through awareness of racial disparities and continuing the fight for social justice and equal opportunity.
Create positive change right now in the Fetch app by using your points to donate to several charities, including the NAACP and Equal Injustice Initiative.
At Fetch, our staff and their families will honor Juneteenth at historic Rickwood Field, former home of the Negro League Black Barons, in Birmingham, Alabama. We will take an educational tour of the park, hear from a former Negro League player and enjoy food from local Black-owned businesses.