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Athenia Rodnye, founder of Juneteenth NYC, talks to PBS NewsHour about meaningful ways to celebrate.

Athenia Rodnye, founder of Juneteenth NYC, talks to PBS NewsHour Classroom about meaningful ways to celebrate.

June 20, 2022

Ways for Your Class to Commemorate Juneteenth

Ask Students: Why did Juneteenth become a national holiday? How could your class commemorate Juneteenth?

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Summary

Monday became the second time Juneteenth was celebrated as a federal holiday. Juneteenth honors the day news arrived in Galveston, Texas (June 19, 1865), that the Emancipation Proclamation had been passed two years prior. The Civil War had ended in April of 1865 — two months before enslaved people in Texas were made aware.

John Yang spoke with two organizers about Juneteenth’s meaning and the different ways people are still figuring out how best to mark the holiday. For a transcript of the story, click here.

Remote video URL

Discussion Questions: Commemorating Juneteenth

  1. What is Juneteenth?
  2. When is Juneteenth celebrated?
  3. Who celebrates Juneteenth?
  4. Why did Juneteenth become a national holiday?
  5. How could your class commemorate Juneteenth?

Focus Questions

Does your community or nearby communities commemorate Juneteenth? Search your town/city’s website and nearby municipalities to find out.

In 2021, Juneteenth became the country’s 12th national holiday through a 415-14 vote in the House of Representatives. Why do you think 14 lawmakers voted against the measure? How could you find out?

Media Literacy: What additional questions would you ask the guests in this segment?

More Resources on Teaching Juneteenth

With this collection of Juneteenth teaching resources, you will find lesson plans, activities and other materials to help educate and engage students in learning about the Reconstruction era history and politics surrounding the Juneteenth holiday, and the role Black joy plays in celebrating this heritage.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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