Six leading black museums and historical institutions from coast to coast have joined forces to launch the digital commemoration of Juneteenth, the day that the Emancipation Proclamation was officially enforced, ending enslavement in Texas.
The event will feature cultural performances from Africa and across America, with educational content and appearances by:
- Lonnie G. Bunch III, the first African-American and first historian to serve as the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
- Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, anthropologist, educator, museum director and the first female African-American President of Spelman College.
- The Honorable Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, the first woman and the first African-American to lead the national library.
Juneteenth dates back to June 19, 1865, when Union soldier Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas with the news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This announcement was more than two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.