If you ask most adults when they found out the significance of June 19th, they may tell you it wasn’t until a couple of years ago. We are finally at the place where Juneteenth isn’t just a backyard celebration for the “woke” but an actual nationally recognized holiday! 

With the newness of the holiday being widely celebrated, the history and true meaning behind Juneteenth may not be clear to everyone. June 19th marks the day in 1865 that the last of the slaves were freed in the United States.

You may be confused. Weren’t the slaves freed with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1862? Technically, yes. But this information was hidden from many slaves and those individuals stayed in servitude for three years longer than they were legally slaves for. 

Though things did not immediately change June 19, 1865, the date marks one stepping stone toward African American equality.