Officially recognized as a City holiday since 2020, and a federal holiday since 2021, Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Although the Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln was meant to end institutional slavery in 1863 for confederate states, after the end of the Civil War, some former confederate states still refused to grant freedom to their enslaved populations. On June 19, 1865, the last African Americans enslaved were finally freed when Union Major General Gordon Granger went to Galveston, Texas to enforce the emancipation with General Order No. 3. Celebrations erupted from the newly freed people, and commemorations have been held since 1866. Slavery was formally abolished in the United States with the adoption of the 13th amendment in December 1865.
In 2020, the City of College Park officially recognized Juneteenth as a holiday to remember its historical significance and impact on American life. This year, we're honoring Juneteenth by celebrating freedom for all Americans and ensuring that Black Lives Matter. Read the City's Proclamation on Juneteenth here. You can celebrate Juneteenth with us by:
- Journaling about why Juneteenth is important to you
- Writing a poem or creating art around the theme of "freedom"
- Sending us your Juneteenth celebrations, artwork, or creative writing through social media (@collegeparkmd on Facebook and Instagram or @collegepark_md on Twitter) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be sending prizes to the first 20 submissions from City residents. All submissions must be sent by June 30, 2022. Please include your name, address, school grade (if applicable), and contact information with your submission. We may even post your submission in our City media! Anyone can submit an entry, only City residents may receive a prize while supplies last.
To learn more about African American history in Prince George's County this Juneteenth, check out links below:
You can also plan a visit to these places to learn more about Juneteenth and African American history and culture: