Connect & Follow Us

Go Back

What is Juneteenth? Links, Resources, and Local Celebrations

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
June 6, 2018
This year, for the first time in our organization’s history, Health & Medicine is celebrating Juneteenth. Here, we’ve complied some links and resources about the significance of this holiday. If you don’t already, we hope that you or your organization will consider joining us in honoring this important day.

What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger led thousands of federal troops to Galveston, Texas to announce that the Civil War had ended, and slaves had been freed. While the official date of the Emancipation Proclamation was 1863, it would take two years for the news to reach the remote territory of Texas. Upon Gen. Granger’s arrival, approximately 250,000 Texan slaves had no idea that their freedom had been secured.

Part of the reason Health & Medicine is celebrating Juneteenth is to promote narrative change and increase dialogue as a step toward recognizing and rectifying historical injustice. We hope you will join us in this celebration either by honoring the day itself or spreading the word over social media and to your network. Please consider sharing these social media messages and adding ones of your own. And don’t forget to tag us @HMPRG.

Sample social media messages:
  • The Fourth of July is not the only Independence Day that deserves to be celebrated. #Juneteenth #HistoryMatters @HMPRG
  • Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States.  Celebrated on June 19th of every year, marks the day that the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom in 1865. How will you celebrate #Juneteenth? @HMPRG
  • Historical context matters to health equity. Celebrating Juneteenth is a step towards recognizing the full scope of American history and the unfinished work of advancing racial justice. How will you celebrate #Juneteenth? @HMPRG
  • Click here to access social media-ready images to accompany your post.
Chicago has a rich tradition of Juneteenth celebrations. While this is not an exhaustive list, here are a few local celebrations: