History of Juneteenth


Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is an important holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. Observed on June 19th each year, Juneteenth holds deep historical significance and serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring struggle for equality and freedom. In this blog post, we will delve into the history of Juneteenth, explore why it is celebrated, and provide educators with ideas on how to teach about this significant event in their classrooms.

The Historical Origins of Juneteenth

The story of Juneteenth dates back to June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with Union troops, announcing General Order No. 3, which proclaimed the freedom of all enslaved African Americans in Texas. This event marked the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation, as Texas was the last Confederate state to be liberated.

Why We Celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteenth represents a pivotal moment in American history when freedom and equality took a significant step forward. It symbolizes the end of the institution of slavery and the beginning of a new era for African Americans. Juneteenth is a celebration of resilience, the triumph of the human spirit, and the ongoing pursuit of civil rights.

Teaching Juneteenth in the Classroom

Educators have a unique opportunity to educate their students about the historical significance of Juneteenth and foster discussions around freedom, equality, and social justice. Here are some ways teachers can incorporate Juneteenth into their lesson plans:

  1. Historical Context: Provide students with a historical overview of slavery in America, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the delayed news of freedom reaching Texas. Discuss the impact of Juneteenth in reshaping the lives of enslaved individuals.
  2. Primary Sources: Engage students with primary sources, such as historical documents, photographs, and firsthand accounts, to deepen their understanding of the experiences of enslaved African Americans and the significance of Juneteenth.
  3. Literature Connection: Introduce children’s books that highlight the themes of freedom, resilience, and African American history. Reading aloud stories like “All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom” by Angela Johnson and “Juneteenth for Mazie” by Floyd Cooper can spark meaningful discussions.
  4. Art and Poetry: Encourage students to express their thoughts and emotions through art and poetry. Explore themes related to freedom, equality, and social justice, allowing students to share their perspectives and experiences.
  5. Community Engagement: Organize or participate in local Juneteenth celebrations, parades, or cultural events. This hands-on experience will provide students with an opportunity to interact with the community and learn from different perspectives.
I created this highly engaging resource for ALL things Juneteenth in your classroom!

Children’s Books for Juneteenth

Here are some books on Juneteenth you can add to your classroom library:

Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the end of Slavery in the United States
Juneteenth for Mazie
A Flag for Juneteenth
Opal Lee and What it Means to be Free
All Different Now

Juneteenth is a momentous occasion that deserves recognition and exploration in classrooms around the world. By teaching about the historical significance of Juneteenth, educators can empower students to reflect on the journey toward freedom, civil rights, and equality. Through thoughtful discussions, engaging activities, and the use of children’s literature, teachers can inspire their students to appreciate the significance of Juneteenth and work toward

History of Juneteenth


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might Also Like: