Juneteenth, formally declared a federal holiday in 2021, marks the emancipation of African American Slaves in 1865 when federal troops led by Union Army General Gordon Granger in Galveston Texas announced that the Civil War had ended and that all enslaved people were now freed. The announcement came more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863.
The first recognized Juneteenth celebration took place in Texas in 1866, then called “Jubilee Day.” Historic and modern celebrations are filled with music, food, prayer, literature, dance, art, family and community. Although Juneteenth celebrations have ebbed and flowed since the first Jubilee Day, Texas recognized the date as an official state holiday in 1980 with Massachusetts followed in 2007, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, Oregon and Delaware following in 2020 and 2021.
Mary Elliot, Curator of American Slavery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, says that Juneteenth is important “because it reminds us of what we came through and what we can achieve.” She also shared that the holiday must survive to allow each generation to reflect upon what more there is to do, by taking Black people, at the center of the conversation about freedom, its meaning and manifestation in this nation.
Close to home, this year, on Sunday, June 19th from 12 PM – 5 PM the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Cultural Festival will be held in Hicksville, NY. Described as an “immersive community wide experience to educate and celebrate the history and impact of African American Culture.” The celebration will include food, local Black vendors, live music, African drumming, performers all in a safe and celebratory environment. The Long Island Press published an extensive list of celebrations in our local area.
At our core, says Liz Lorin Laike, co-owner of Bee Reporting in Rockville Centre, New York, we are a community business, locally in our own town and more globally in the legal community. For over 30 years, Bee Reporting has focused on supporting organizations and issues important to our clients and our neighbors. As a Women Owned Business Enterprise, we place our priorities around promoting diversity, inclusion and the advancement of women and members of a variety of diverse communities around us. Read more about some of the issues Bee Reporting has supported throughout our long history as a Long Island and Legal Business.
June 17, 2022