Juneteenth was first celebrated in 1866 on the anniversary of the date that slavery in Texas ended a year earlier in 1865.

It was formally made a paid state holiday in 1980, specifically in Texas. Although it has been observed and celebrated across the US (and some other countries apparently too) since 1866, it wasn’t a formal federal holiday until June 17, 2021.

Why does Juneteenth exist?

June 19, 1865, the day Black people enslaved in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom from Union soldiers. The day exists to commemorate the end of slavery in the USA.

How is the day celebrated?

How can you learn more?


  • 13th (Documentary)
  • I Am Not Your Nigra
  • Miss Juneteenth
  • Mudbound
  • Black-ish (TV series)
  • 12 Years a Slave


  • On Juneteenth by Janet Gordon-Reed
  • Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo,” by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Scenes of Subjection, by Saidiya Hartman
  • The Long Emancipation: Moving Toward Black Freedom, by Rinaldo Walcott
  • Juneteenth, by Ralph Ellison

Support Black artists, business owners & entrepreneurs, creators, & designers.

Other Resources

Acheampong, Gemma & Sophie Yarin. “Celebrate Juneteenth with These 15 Films, Podcasts, TV Shows, Albums, and Books” Boston University. Trustees of Boston University. 15.06.2022. https://www.bu.edu/articles/2022/15-films-podcasts-tv-music-books-to-celebrate-juneteenth/

Gates, Henry Louis. “What is Juneteenth?” PBS.org. WNET (2013). https://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/what-is-juneteenth/

McDonald, Jordan Takisha. “Put Down the Juneteenth Ice Cream and Pick Up These 15 Books A reading list for America’s latest greeting-card category.” Vulture. Vox Media, LLC. 18.06.22. https://www.vulture.com/article/books-about-juneteenth-reading-list.html

Taylor, Derrick Bryson. “Juneteenth: The History of a New Holiday.” The New York Times. The Bew York Times, LLC. 08.06.22. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/article/juneteenth-day-celebration.amp.html

Image text adapted from Wikipedia & Britannica.

Published by livingtheamericandreamineurope

I live in Europe, I am from America.

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