Akoma Unity Center

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, marks a pivotal moment in American history. Celebrated annually on June 19th, it commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. This day holds profound significance, not just as a celebration of freedom, but as a reflection of resilience, culture, and the ongoing struggle for equality.

Origins of Juneteenth

The origins of Juneteenth date back to June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce General Order No. 3. This order declared that all enslaved people in Texas were free, in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. Texas was one of the last strongholds of slavery, and the delay in enforcing the proclamation was due to the minimal presence of Union troops to enforce the order.

The announcement in Galveston sparked immediate celebrations among the newly freed African Americans, who began to establish a tradition of commemorating their liberation with festivities, food, and community gatherings.

The Modern Significance of Juneteenth

Today, Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in almost every state. In 2021, it was declared a federal holiday, affirming its national importance. Modern celebrations continue to honor the cultural heritage and contributions of African Americans through music, dance, art, and educational events.

Juneteenth also serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing fight for racial justice and equality. It is a day to reflect on the progress made and the work that still needs to be done. The historical impact of Juneteenth is not just about celebrating the end of slavery, but about acknowledging the systemic issues that continue to affect African American communities today.

Akoma Unity Center’s Juneteenth Celebration

The Akoma Unity Center is proud to host a Juneteenth event that not only celebrates this historic day but also fosters a sense of community and education. Join us on Thursday, June 20th, from 6-8 PM for an evening of enrichment and festivity. Our event, titled “San Bernardino Civil Rights: Voices from the Bridges That Carried Us Over,” will feature a range of activities designed to engage and inform participants of all ages. Highlights Include:

Speakers: Hear from Dr. Jennifer Tilton, Romaine Washington, and Vicki Lee as they share their insights and experiences.

Educational Awareness: Learn about the history of Juneteenth, its significance, and the ongoing struggles for racial equality through interactive workshops and discussions.

Community Discussions: Engage in meaningful conversations about the impact of Juneteenth and the importance of continued advocacy for social justice.

Juneteenth is more than a celebration of freedom; it is a testament to the resilience and strength of African Americans throughout history. As we honor this day, let us remember the importance of unity, education, and continued advocacy for equality. By acknowledging the past, we can build a more just and inclusive future for all.

Sign up today! Join the Akoma Unity Center Juneteeth Celebration!