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Commemorating Juneteenth

June 14, 2021

Commemorating Juneteenth

Learn more about commemorating Juneteenth and explore resources for you to foster an open dialogue in your classroom and community.


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Juneteenth, also known as “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Emancipation Day” or “Freedom Day” is an annual holiday celebrating the day in history that Union Gen. Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed the enslaved African Americans there that they were free and that the Civil War was finally won. On June 19, 1865, his arrival and announcement put into widespread effect the Emancipation Proclamation, even though it was issued more than two years prior by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863.  The holiday’s name is a portmanteau of the words “June” and “nineteenth.”

In light of the nation’s reckoning with systemic racism and the continued loss of Black individuals murdered at the hands of police, this year’s Juneteenth celebration may look different to Americans. We recognize that the struggle for true racial equity in America is far from over, and that, today, the legacy of slavery and racism in America is not just a historical event, but a modern-day reality that must be addressed.

Each year, we recognize that members of this multiracial nation will commemorate Juneteenth differently. ADL’s Civil Rights and Education teams curated the following list of resources to help make the most of this year’s Juneteenth, whether you are rejoicing, resting, reflecting, learning or taking action.


Learn About Commemorating Juneteenth



  • Ava DuVernay documentary “13th ,” available to stream on Netflix
  • Destin Daniel Cretton’s “Just Mercy,” free to stream online. Screenplay based on Bryan Stevenson’s bestselling memoir.


However you choose to commemorate Juneteenth, we hope this list will inspire actions that amplify the brilliant diversity of the Black community and bring all of us closer to living up to ADL’s mission of securing justice and fair treatment to all.

Republished with permission from ADL.

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