What Is Juneteenth?
A portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth,” Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when a group of enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, finally learned that they were free from the institution of slavery. But, woefully, this was almost two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. As much as Juneteenth represents freedom, it also represents how emancipation was tragically delayed for enslaved people in the deepest reaches of the Confederacy.
The first Juneteenth in 1866 was celebrated with food, singing, and the reading of spirituals — and it commemorated newly freed Black people taking pride in their progress. Today, Juneteenth celebrations span the world, with the global diaspora adopting the day as one to recognize emancipation at large.
(Thanks to Vox.com for this description.)
Now a federal holiday, the library will be closed on Monday, June 20th in observance of Juneteenth. We will open normal hours the following day, Tuesday 6/21.