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Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States and marks the day news of emancipation finally reached Texas on June 19, 1865. Today, Juneteenth is a day that "celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures." Juneteenth celebrations traditionally include barbecue and a gathering of friends. source

Additional Resources

For more about Life Every Voice and Sing, visit these sites:

Lift Every Voice and Sing - The text

James Weldon Johnson - A biography and links to other works by the Florida-born poet

"Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" - An online exhibit from the Yale University Library that "offers a look at the creation of the song, and at the lives and careers of the brothers who created it."

Till Victory Is Won: The Staying Power Of 'Lift Every Voice And Sing'

‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’: The story behind the ‘black national anthem’ that Beyoncé sang

Online Resources

What Is Juneteenth? - by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Why Juneteenth Celebrates the New Birth of Freedom - Article from The Smithsonian

The Birth of Juneteenth; Voices of the Enslaved - from the Library of Congress

Celebrating Juneteenth - from the National Museum of African American History & Culture. "Watch the video as the Museum's Founding Director Lonnie Bunch III leads a tour through our Slavery and Freedom exhibition to celebrate #Juneteenth, highlighting stories behind some of our most popular objects, including Nat Turner's bible, freedom papers of free African Americans and a Sibley tent that housed African Americans who ran from Southern plantations in search of freedom with the Union army."

Happy Juneteenth! - from Teaching Tolerance

Congress approves bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday - S.475 - Juneteenth National Independence Day Act

Visit Juneteenth: Celebration of Resilience for a variety of virtual programs! 


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