Why it’s important to celebrate Juneteenth

June 19 marks Juneteenth.
June 19 marks Juneteenth.(Source: MGN)
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:33 PM EDT
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - People all over the country are observing the Juneteenth holiday this weekend, but not everyone knows what the holiday means.

Juneteenth is a day in African-American history that recognized the official end of slavery in the United States. While some Black people don’t celebrate the day because they say there’s still inequality in America.

Some South Georgia historians still say you should celebrate.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth honors the end of slavery in the United States. It is considered the longest-running African-American holiday. It officially became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021.

Some holidays are universally celebrated but some are meant to be about reflection. Veterans often say people forget the true meaning of Memorial Day. Some Black people say the same about Juneteenth. Many want more than just a federal holiday.

Lorena Barnum-Sabbs is a historian who grew up in Americus. Barnum-Sabbs said all people, no matter race, age or ethnicity should celebrate Juneteenth because it’s a day that can be used to help heal current divisions within our communities and move forward as a nation together.

Anything that celebrates Black history and anything that makes people aware of Black culture is a positive thing, she said.

“I think it’s a good thing to celebrate. I think it’s a good thing if people know what they are celebrating. That’s why what you’re doing is so important because I think children see it and say, 'oh we’ll have a cookout, or 'it’s Black folks' Forth of July'. But if we have these conversations, it’s important,” Barnum-Sabbs said.

Juneteenth is celebrated because it marks the end of slavery in 1865. Historians said it’s not just a holiday for Black people — everyone should observe it.

Juneteenth is about freedom. And that’s something the United States has always celebrated.

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