Skip to main content
The Juneteenth historic marker is located on Strand Street in Galveston. The marker commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston to inform enslaved black Texans that slavery had ended, two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. June 15, 2020.
Police brutality in Texas

This year, Juneteenth takes on new meaning for black Texans, as push to make holiday with Texas roots goes national

In 1980, Texas became the first state to adopt Juneteenth as a holiday. It is officially recognized in all but three states: Hawaii, North Dakota and South Dakota. As Americans continue to march for racial justice, black Texans say the holiday has taken on additional weight.

Opal Lee in February during the Las Vegas leg of her walk from her Fort Worth home to Washington, D.C. The months-long walk was an effort to get Juneteenth named a national holiday.
A photo of a band at the Juneteenth celebration at Eastwoods Park in Austin in 1900.
Civil War re-enactors at a Juneteenth celebration at Eastwoods Park in Austin in 1900.
A couple holds hands during their walk around Emancipation Park in Houston, TX on June 15, 2020.
A sculpture of a lawmaker stands as part of the Juneteenth Memorial at George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center Tuesday in Austin. The memorial features five sculptures of a lawmaker, preacher, former slaves and their daughter, which represents the journey of the news about the emancipation of formerly enslaved black Texans. June 16, 2020.
The Juneteenth Parade in Austin on June 19th, 2004.
The Juneteenth Parade in Austin on June 19th, 2001. Juneteenth is a celebration that honors the day black Texans learned of their emancipation from Union soldiers in Galveston on June 19, 1865.
Crystal Aitaegbebhunu and her studio partners run through their choreography for a Juneteenth black empowerment video at Emancipation Park on June 15, 2020.
A young boy carries an American flag at a Juneteenth celebration in Austin.
Scenes from Austin's annual Juneteenth parade through the streets of historically black East Austin. Juneteenth celebrates the date that black Texans learned of their emancipation, over two years after the end of the Civil War. June 19, 2002.

Your New Year’s resolution list isn’t complete without …

Donate now