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The History of Juneteenth + How You Can Get Involved

Juneteenth 2020 in DSM

June 19, 2020

Juneteenth . . . what is it? Many might be asking that question and now, more than ever, is a time to understand events like Juneteenth so we all can commemorate, educate and build community where we live.

Juneteenth History

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, or Liberation Day, is a holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. While the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1862, it was June 19, 1865 when General Gordon Granger read the proclamation in Galveston, TX that all were finally freed.

Juneteenth in 2020

Today, 47 states and people of all nationalities celebrate the culture, heritage and achievements of African Americans through community celebrations, public readings, street fairs, parades and family time.

Juneteenth is a time for communities, organizations and companies to listen and learn, as well as support African American communities across the nation to ensure that the history and modern significance of what the African American communities have and will continue to contribute will be felt for generations to come.

The Iowa Juneteenth 2020 3-Day Virtual Festival takes place June18-20. Watch live on DSMTV. This year, Des Moines Black Lives Matter asks you to attend the Juneteenth 2020 event at Willkie House, 900 17th St., in Des Moines. The event begins at 5 p.m. and will have food, live music, games, raffles, prizes and a basketball tournament.

Juneteenth Resources

Juneteenth Videos from the African American Museum of Iowa will help you connect with the history and modern significance of Juneteenth. See the resources listed below:

Lonnie Dafney

As the first diversity equity and inclusion director for EMC Insurance Companies, Lonnie Dafney is a strategic thought leader who brings more than 20 years of proven experience and knowledge in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, human resources, executive coaching, talent management, team engagement and leadership and management development.