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Last week, the Senate unanimously voted to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, a holiday to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States. For many this is a welcome recognition of a long ignored end to a horrific chapter in American history. However, a good portion of Americans, the word “Juneteenth’ and what it represents remains largely unexplored as many historical events such as Juneteenth have gone unnoticed in the schools’ curriculum. Speaking of my personal experience, I knew about Juneteenth a few years ago--after I had graduated from college. The history of this day, and many similar events was not a part of my education and everything that I have learned about Juneteenth was through articles which is unfortunate, but hopefully with the new holiday, it will be an impetus for schools to discuss how important it is that this day is remembered and celebrated.
In honor of Juneteenth, I’d thought it’ll be great to share some resources that I think are great for learning more about this day:
- For a brief overview on the history of Juneteenth, the NY Times does a good job on covering the significance of the date and the history behind it.
- PBS has a great episode on the history of Juneteenth and how gentrification threatens the livelihood of Black Americans in Austin.
- For a great primary source on Juneteenth, the National Archives has a scan on one of the original orders to end slavery in Texas
- There is a great collection of stories and resources at the National Museum of African American History & Culture
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