The Meaning Behind JuneteenthEvery

By: Emily Guiles

When it comes to the Juneteenth celebration many people are not sure what it is about or what the roots of the holiday are. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

The Juneteenth celebration dates back to 1865, two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation was issued in 1863 but the news didn’t reach Galveston, Texas until two years later. The reason for the delay is unknown.

Annually Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19th in 200 cities in the US. Texas and Oklahoma are the only two states that celebrate Juneteenth as a legal holiday.

Peart is 16 years old, and said that the whole experience was stressful but worth it, also Peart enjoys the networking. Peart was a member of student council, SAT prep, and although being Juneteenth queen was very important to her, Peart always put school before being Juneteenth Queen.

Juneteenth is sometimes described as an African American July 4th celebration. The African American community still celebrates July 4th but when America claimed their independence there were still people being enslaved in the south, and Juneteenth is a celebration of their independence. Slate website said, “Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of emancipation, it’s a celebration of our commitment to make it real,”.

Juneteenth exists in order to never forget the endurance of those who were once enslaved in a free America. A large supporter of Juneteenth is Paul Billings of 103.7 WUVS the Beat, who said, he, “wants the kids to learn, we celebrate Cinco de Mayo but not freeing the slaves, which is the point of the Juneteenth celebration.

Every year for Juneteenth a Juneteenth Queen is elected, this years Queen is is Tahleka Peart and the runner up is Makylah Hays. To be eligible the candidates have to have a GPA of 2.5, be a leader in the community, and they will receive a scholarship at the end of their year rein.