Celebrate Juneteenth - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2254682

Celebrate Juneteenth

June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law a bill to make Juneteenth, or June 19, the 11th federal holiday. The House of Representatives voted, 415-14, to send the bill to Biden, while the Senate passed the bill unanimously the day before, making Juneteenth the first to obtain legal observance as a federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was designated in 1983.

But let’s start from the beginning.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of a bloody Civil War. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be, free.”

Let’s note, these were the rebellious states: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas and North Carolina.

Finally passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery, stating, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

This new version was two years after the Emancipation Proclamation declared January 1, 1863.

Let’s learn more American history.

Brenda Simmons

Founder and Executive Director

Southampton African American Museum