What is Juneteenth?


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Juneteenth marks a milestone in the abolishment of slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned they were free, even though the Emancipation Proclamation that freed them went into effect two and a half years earlier on January 1, 1863.

Today, Juneteenth is a celebration of African American freedom, achievements, and culture.

Dr. Danielle Williams is on the Juneteenth Celebration committee and also teaches diversity classes at the University of Arkansas. She said events like this are a good learning opportunity for people of all races. 

“If you’re never exposed and you never have the openness to engage, with individuals who are different than you, how are you going to learn?” Woods said. “You can read a book, and that’s fine. You can read a book to historically understand, but that’s different than living the life.”

In Northwest Arkansas, Junteeth has been celebrated with a public, family friendly cookout for over 20 years. This year it’s going to be virtual due to the pandemic. It starts at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 19.

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