Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure that all 250,000 enslaved people were freed. It came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Honoring Juneteenth is more complicated than just recognizing the emancipation of enslaved people in our country. It is a day that focuses on fighting racism here and abroad that prevents equity, creates disproportionate suffering, and harms Black adults and children across the globe.
It was the emancipation of enslaved people in the US that allowed this country to turn the page from its most heinous past and chart a more prosperous future. Although it is a celebration, it also signifies our obligation to continue to be advocates for truth and freedom in our communities and throughout the world.
More than 17,000 people joined to celebrate Juneteenth at the 2023 Juneteenth Jubilee, Family Reunion. Planning has begun for 2024. The celebration will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2024 at Allen Pond Park. Please contact Lori Cunningham via email or 301-832-7451 if you are interested in sponsorship, providing entertainment, or being a vendor.
Honoring Juneteenth Through Art in Galveston, Texas - The New York Times (nytimes.com) The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth | National Museum of African American History and Culture (si.edu)
Freedmen’s Bureau Transportation Records: Letters of “Sold” Former Slaves Seeking to Rejoin Loved Ones by Damani Davis, Reference Archivist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. From Rediscovering Black History, the National Archives blog of the Black History Guide, sharing records relating to the Black Experience at the National Archives.
Video: Genealogy and the “Freedman’s Bank:” Records of the Freedman’s Savings & Trust Company by Damani Davis, Reference Archivist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Handout online.
The Freedmen’s Bureau Preservation Project, by (retired) archivist Reginald Washington, Prologue Magazine
Sealing the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony, Freedmen's Bureau Marriage Records, by (retired) archivist Reginald Washington, Prologue Magazine
National Archives Safeguards Original ‘Juneteenth’ General Order, National Archives News
Video: Let No Man Put Asunder: Freedmen's Bureau Marriage Records, by (retired) archivist Reginald Washington
Online resources: African American History National Archives News special topics page
Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau and the Reconstruction of Black Families, Rediscovering Black History, by Bob Nowatzki, Archives Technician, National Archives in College Park, MD.
The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company and African American Genealogical Research, by Reginald Washington, Prologue