Today is Juneteenth in America: What You Should Know

Miss Juneteenth and her court wave to the crowd

Miss Juneteenth and her court wave to the crowd. Credit Jorge Sanhueza Lyon KUT

Nationally and in southern cities, like Atlanta, the day has traditionally been celebrated with parades, plays and other festivities that honor the African-American culture that developed during and after slavery. "It's important that we have events like this to represent our youth and help bring up leaders in our community", teen leader Julian Hudspeth said.

On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger entered Galveston, Texas and read the proclamation.

This year's Juneteenth theme is "A Time to Heal, A Time to Unite".

This Juneteenth, we celebrate 152 years since long-awaited freedom finally came for so many in the State of Texas.

Meanwhile, the Fort Worth woman who walked to Washington an effort to make Juneteenth a national holiday will be talking about her journey Monday night.

"We'll see a lot of kids tomorrow", Filer said.

- Many Texas will celebrate Juneteenth today.

About 50 to 60 people, including several vendors, watched as local children performed dances Saturday, despite the rain pouring down on them.

There is no one reason why there was a two and a half year delay in letting Texas know about the abolition of slavery in the United States, according to

Juneteenth has become either a state or ceremonial holiday in 45 of the 50 USA states, and hundreds are taught its importance annually at a celebration.

Coordinators believe understanding this history allows for a better future.

"We need to celebrate our history", Paulk said.

It's from the spirit of unity, that the Odell S. Williams Now and Then African American Museum was born. Decades of collective action would follow as equality and justice for African-Americans advanced slowly, frustratingly, gradually, on our nation's journey toward a more ideal union.

"Even though we probably don't even know each other, its like a strong love here", said Wiggins.

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