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Juneteenth: How It Became a Symbol of Joy and Resilience

Here at Splash Tears we love history. Today’s blog talks about Juneteenth. What it is, how it came to be, and how to celebrate it. Take a quick trip through history with Splash Tears. Don’t forget to apply a few drops before you begin reading for extra comfort!

What is Juneteenth?

Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is an annual holiday celebrated on June 19th in the United States. It commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and represents the end of slavery in the United States.


Even though on January 1, 1863 Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that all enslaved people in Confederate territory be set free, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 where the last group was set free in Galveston, Texas.

What does Juneteenth symbolize?

Juneteenth symbolizes the moment when the news of emancipation reached the last enslaved African Americans in the United States. While the Emancipation Proclamation had technically freed them years earlier, it was only through General Gordon Granger’s announcement that slavery was effectively abolished in Texas.


Efforts to recognize Juneteenth as an official state holiday began in Texas in 1979, and by 2021, it was recognized as a state or ceremonial holiday in all U.S. states except South Dakota. On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday in the United States with the passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.

How is it celebrated?

Celebrations and gatherings began to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans after General Granger’s announcement. These events took place in Texas and then spread to other states and communities across the United States.


Juneteenth holds heavy cultural significance for African Americans communities as a celebration of their freedom and achievements. It serves as a reminder of the struggles and resilience of African Americans throughout history.

Juneteenth continues to be celebrated with various activities, including parades, picnics, educational events, and cultural performances, highlighting African American history, achievements, and contributions to American society.


To help you celebrate JuneTeenth 2023, we gathered a fun list of events. Keep scrolling to learn more. 

#1 – Where it all Began 

Yes, Galveston, TX. Celebrate JuneTeenth in the very city where it all began. Enjoy anything from movies, teather, galas and big celebrations in JuneTeenth’s birthplace. 


A must see if you love art and history, is the “Absolute Equality” Mural in Galveston. This piece of art portraits the journey African American communities went through to reach freedom and equality.


Another exhibition to visit is the “Still we rise story” about JuneTeeth. You can take this self guided tour at  2328 Broadway, Galveston, Texas 77550.


#2 – Dallas

Enjoy delicious food, history, art and great live music in Dallas, TX. There is just no better state to celebrate JuneTeenth than Texas. Here you can enjoy your favorite artists, under the perfect summer weather, with your favorite food. 


Check the Unity Weekend event, Red Bird, and Celebration of freedom. For a full list of celebrations click this link.


#3 – Brooklyn

Are you a foodie? If so, NYC has got all you need for JuneTeeth. Celebrate this joyful holiday in the big apple with an amazing food festival. At the NYC JuneTeenth food festival you can delight your taste buds and try new dishes like you never have before. 


You can also check the summit, and the many roof top celebrations in the empire city. For a list of activities check this link


#4 – Charlotte

Want to experience an amazing festival loaded with culture, amazing artists, food and great events? Check the Durag Fest in Charlotte. At this festival you can enjoy art exhibitions, concerts, DIY events, Crafts, and more. You don’t want to miss this celebration.  


#5 – Philadelphia

One of the biggest Juneteenth celebrations takes place in Philly. Here is a list of everything you can find in Philadelphia. Enjoy live music, try wines, check out art, and walk around the streets of Philadelphia enjoying yourself during this amazing celebration. You can also check out “Sounds of Freedom” This will be an evening of rhythms, stories, poetry, dance, crafts and live music


Now that you know what Juneteenth is all about, spread the word! Ensure everyone knows about it and keep the conversation going. What else can be done to further equality in the USA? Let us know in the comment section and keep Splash Tears with you at all times. 


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