Growing in Love of God and Neighbor

Juneteenth 2023

Juneteenth commemorates the day federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 and announced that slaves in Texas were freed. This was 2 1/2 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Although, the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863, had “established that all enslaved people in States still in rebellion against the Union shall be then, thenceforward and forever be free,” in reality, slavery had continued in Texas. Juneteenth today, celebrates Black peoples’ freedom, their striving, achievements, and continuous self-development and is an opportunity for people of all cultures to come together and celebrate freedom as Americans. On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official holiday in Texas, and since that time, a growing number of state and local governments throughout the United States have officially recognized and celebrated Juneteenth in a variety of ways. It has now also become a national holiday established by the United States Congress in 2021, with the passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act. Juneteenth is also known as the “oldest nationally celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the U. S” and is celebrated every year on June 19th. (Encyclopedia Britannica, Juneteenth entry at

If you are interested in learning more about Juneteenth, the following brief videos, YouTube discussions and books, recommended by members of the God’s Diversity Committee, may be of interest:


  1. CBS News. Dr. Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. on the significance and history of Juneteenth, 2022. (6.20 min.)
  2. MSNBC Understanding the Origins and Importance of Juneteenth. Broadcast journalist, Geoff Bennett is joined by MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee, and Dr. Eddie Glaude, Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, in a discussion of the history of Juneteenth. 2021 (7.38 min.)
  3. The History of Juneteenth and Emancipation. What does it mean today? A conversation between Carey Latimore, IV, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas and Steve Spriester, News Anchor, KSAT 12 News. 2020. (27.25 min.)
  4. What is Juneteenth and why is it important?  TED-Ed. (3.33 min). One of many brief educational programs, suitable for young people available at This video predates the passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act in June 2021 but there are several more recent videos on the topic that include this important development.


1. ” Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy & the Rise of Jim Crow” by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

2.” W.E.B. DuBois: Black Reconstruction” by W.E.B. DuBois

3. “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson

4.”Juneteenth: The History & Legacy of the Holiday” by Charles River

5. ” On Juneteenth” by Annette Gordon-Reed

6. ” Juneteenth” by Ralph Ellison, Charles Johnson

7. “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander

8. ” Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery & Emancipation” by Annette Gordon-Reed

9. “We Were 8 Years in Power: An American Tragedy” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

10. ” Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates