June 19, 1865 marks the origin of Juneteenth, on Galveston Island. The official celebration began in 1866, commemorating the freedom of African people from settler colonialism, 2 1/2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the legislation, making Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday. Its the first new federal holiday since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983.


Dr. Gerald Horne holds the Moores Professorship of History and African American Studies, at the University of Houston. Mexico ended slavery before Texas, Dr. Horne explains why. Special thanks to producer and host Mimi Rosenberg (WBAI).

Sam Collins III, co-chair and historian of the Juneteenth Legacy Project on Galveston Island, the birthplace of Juneteenth in 1865, explains the early history of men with guns who were written out of the narrative.

Dr. Anne Lundy, music director of the Community Music Center of Houston, shares the evolution of Black spirituals and the African American musical tradition.

Mimi Rosenberg of WBAI New York spoke to Dr. Tiffany Crutcher live from the Juneteenth Freedom Festival, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She’s the twin sister of Terrance Crutcher, who was shot and killed Sept. 2016, by police officer Betty Jo Shelby in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was unarmed.

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