Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.
Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long over due. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.
The year of 2018 will be the 153rd year of the annual historic celebration since its namesake on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth, or June 19, is the date celebrated and heralded by Americans as the nation's second independence day, where freed slaves in the 19th century acknowledged their newly learned freedom by joyous singing, dancing and feasting. The day's activities has not only become tradition, but a state holiday or observance in over 40 states.
The City and the County of La Crosse, Wisconsin are honored to participate and Co-sponsor the first citywide Juneteenth Celebrate sponsored by the African American Mutual Assistance Network, Inc at Copeland Park in 2015. It's free and open to the public. For scheduled activities and to get involved, click here.
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