The U.S. federal holiday, Juneteenth National Independence Day, is Monday, June 20. It commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Tex., and told enslaved people of their emancipation. That was more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.
Remembering that day “acknowledges God’s sacred people of African descent,” said the Rev. Velda Love, UCC minister of racial justice and leader of Join the Movement Toward Racial Justice. Hearing real stories from those people, she said, is a way to counteract white supremacist “efforts to suppress the truth of our history.”