Juneteenth is an unofficial American holiday, and an official Texas state holiday. It’s celebrated annually on the 19th of June in the United States. It commemorates Union Army General Gordon Granger’s reading of federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas, on 19 June 1865, proclaiming enslaved people in Texas were now free.
It is also called Freedom Day and Emanicipation Day. Its significance is that this was the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans in the Confederacy. That day celebrations of joy swept through the city of Galveston as African Americans enjoyed their first day of freedom. Since that time, it has become a state holiday in Texas and is celebrated across the United States.
Tryon Palace is proud to be part of the organizing committee for the annual Juneteenth celebration in New Bern and for Juneteenth be a part of the African American Lecture Series. This celebration is an important reminder of New Bern’s unique African American heritage and a recognition of the importance of freedom for all people.
Master storyteller, Donna Washington, presented several short stories that educate and celebrate Juneteenth. You can view her wonderul presentation here.
Because of Covid-19 many of this year’s celebration are virtual with the Young Urban Professionals sponsoring a Town Hall gathering from 6:30 to 8:00 pm on June 19 for education and discussion at the Omega Center, 800 Cedar St. We encourage everyone to participate in one of these events to support Craven County’s African American community in these days of crisis and re-examination of the role of freedom in our society.