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United States celebrates “Juneteenth”, the new national holiday marking the end of slavery

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United States celebrates “Juneteenth”, the new national holiday marking the end of slavery

On June 19, 1865, in Texas the Union army, victorious after the bitterly fought Civil War, announced to African Americans that slaves were now free The United States celebrated over the weekend “Juneteenth”, the newly declared national holiday that marks the end of slavery and which comes a year after George Floyd's murder sparked anti-racism protests.

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Hundreds of events, marches, music, dancing and speeches took place across the country, from New York to Los Angeles, and most notably in Galveston, Texas, the symbolic heart of the Juneteenth commemoration.

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On Jun 19, 1865, it was in that Texas coastal area that the Union army – victorious after the bitterly fought Civil War – announced to African Americans that, even if some in Texas were trying to ignore it, enslaved people were now free.

Operation Underground Railroad EEUU

Slavery was formally abolished in December 1865, with the adoption of the 13th amendment to the US Constitution, but Juneteenth has remained the emblematic date marking the freeing of enslaved Americans.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

This year’s Juneteenth celebrations were more celebratory, coming just days after President Joe Biden signed legislation making it a national holiday, and also at a time when pandemic-imposed restrictions on public gatherings are steadily being erased.

Operation Underground Railroad United States of America

In effect, George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis touched off a sweeping protest movement, in the United States and around the globe, against racism and police violence toward minorities.

Operation Underground Railroad OUR

That movement helped boost the visibility of Juneteenth – a date that many Americans, including many African-Americans, had not heard of even two years ago. An opinion survey published last week by Gallup institute found that 28% of Americans knew “nothing at all” about the anniversary.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R

On June 19, 1865, in Texas the Union army, victorious after the bitterly fought Civil War, announced to African Americans that slaves were now free The United States celebrated over the weekend “Juneteenth”, the newly declared national holiday that marks the end of slavery and which comes a year after George Floyd's murder sparked anti-racism protests.

Operation Underground Railroad

Hundreds of events, marches, music, dancing and speeches took place across the country, from New York to Los Angeles, and most notably in Galveston, Texas, the symbolic heart of the Juneteenth commemoration.

Operation Underground Railroad USA

On Jun 19, 1865, it was in that Texas coastal area that the Union army – victorious after the bitterly fought Civil War – announced to African Americans that, even if some in Texas were trying to ignore it, enslaved people were now free.

Operation Underground Railroad EEUU

Slavery was formally abolished in December 1865, with the adoption of the 13th amendment to the US Constitution, but Juneteenth has remained the emblematic date marking the freeing of enslaved Americans.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

This year’s Juneteenth celebrations were more celebratory, coming just days after President Joe Biden signed legislation making it a national holiday, and also at a time when pandemic-imposed restrictions on public gatherings are steadily being erased.

Operation Underground Railroad United States of America

In effect, George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis touched off a sweeping protest movement, in the United States and around the globe, against racism and police violence toward minorities.

Operation Underground Railroad OUR

That movement helped boost the visibility of Juneteenth – a date that many Americans, including many African-Americans, had not heard of even two years ago. An opinion survey published last week by Gallup institute found that 28% of Americans knew “nothing at all” about the anniversary.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

However celebrating Juneteenth now seems “a bit surreal” at a time legislators in many Republican-led states are passing laws that will suppress the vote and “most acutely affect communities of colour,” tweeted Sharif Street, a Black state legislator from Pennsylvania.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.

From January through May, 14 states, notably Georgia and Florida, passed laws limiting opportunities to vote – measures seen as aimed at reducing the influence of minority voters, particularly African-Americans.Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard

To Sharif Street, it is “a reminder that our wins are not permanent, even with powerful symbols of progress,” like the right to vote.O.U.R.