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Friday will mark the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth! Wondering how you can make the most of your Juneteenth celebration? The best way to start is by getting educated on why we celebrate the holiday in the first place! President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which ended the legal practice of slavery, went into effect on January 1, 1863, a reluctant move on his part that satisfied the wants of abolitionists. On June 19, 1865, enslaved Blacks in Texas were finally alerted that they were freed and thus, Emancipation Day, better known as Juneteenth, was born.
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Now that we have the meaning and purpose explained here’s a list of five historic landmarks to visit on your quest to celebrate the true meaning of Juneteenth.
Osterman Building on the Strand
Known as the “Birthplace of Juneteenth,” Galveston Island located in Galveston, Texas holds a special place in African-American History. The Osterman building was headquarters for Union officers after the Civil War and one of the first places General Gordon Granger first issued General Order No. 3 from this site, declaring all slaves in Texas were free.
The Charles H. Wright Museum Of African America History
Located in Detroit, MI, the museum holds the worlds largest permanent exhibit on African-American culture. There is a powerful recreation of life on board a slave ship that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.
The National Memorial For Peace and Justice
Created in 2018, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is one of the nations largest memorials dedicated to the legacy of enslaved Black people, people terrorized by lynchings, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contempory presumptions of guilt in police violence. The Memorial for Peace and Justice was conceived with the hope of creating a sober, meaningful site where people can gather and reflect on America’s history of racial inequality.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
Located in Atlanta Georgia, The historic park features the home in which the leader of the Civil Rights movement in America was born, the church where he preached and the memorial site where he is buried. A major Atlanta attraction, the park draws some 500,000 visitors each year.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
The building of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture filled a large gap in the extensive coverage of US history. It was built on the last available land on the national mall and takes visitors through the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation up to the history of recent years. This Museum is unique because it honors all even the recent accomplishments of many of the artists and change makers we know and love today.
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