What is Juneteenth?

By FPL_Staff

Question: In 2021, Congress passed legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, but what is Juneteenth?

Answer:  Juneteenth is the name given to commemorate June 19, 1865. On that day in history, the last African American slaves were freed in Texas. It was a full 2 ½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation. This day is celebrated to mark the freedom of African Americans and their history, culture, and achievements.

Question: How do we celebrate Juneteenth?

Answer: Party time! Since Juneteenth is always in the summer, you can get together with family and friends for a Juneteenth barbecue or picnic. Tag photos of your gathering with #Juneteenth.  Also, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has put together a Juneteenth toolkit, opens a new window filled with ways to celebrate.

Question: Where can I find digital resources on African American history?


North Star, opens a new window: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has a great digital learning platform called North Star. This includes gathered objects, collections, and activities. You can browse by certain topics including historical documents, freedom movements and community building.

Explora, opens a new window: Sign in with library credentials to access articles and videos about Juneteenth.

News & Events:, opens a new window Databases and Newspapers with historic and current events. Search Juneteenth to see the celebrations planned around the country.

Looking for something to read for Juneteenth? Check out these fiction and nonfiction titles:

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Further Reading:

GOVINFO: Juneteenth, opens a new window 

Smithsonian: National Museum of African American History & Culture: Juneteenth, opens a new window