June 19th, 2012
09:38 AM ET

Juneteenth: Where to honor the end of slavery

By Leslie Gilbert Elman, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army announced to the assembled crowd at Ashton Villa in Galveston, Texas, "In accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free."

It was June 19, 1865.

Never mind that President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had been written and read more than two years earlier. Juneteenth, named for the June 19 declaration, started as a celebration of emancipation day in Texas and eventually spread to other states. With celebrations dating back to 1866, Juneteenth now commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

"America cannot understand its own history unless the African-American experience is embraced as a central factor in shaping who we are and what we have become as Americans," writes Lonnie G. Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington.

Set to open in 2015, the museum will be the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African-American life, art and culture.

In honor of Juneteenth, the museum helped CNN.com choose six destinations that will enlighten and educate visitors about a complicated period of American history, the road to emancipation.

Read the full post

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. panorain

    Emancipation Proclamation day is a good holiday for people all around the world to celebrate the end of slavery in their respective countries. Russia, along with the US, also ended slavery in 1865. Until it was revived by Leftist Communists. Germany abolished slavery in 1815 at the Treaty of Ghent. Henceforth no Germans would be slaves. Until the Socialists revived slavery in the 1930s. Muslims officially ended slavery in 1929. Though Malcolm X certainly met many black slaves when he visited Mecca in 1963.

    June 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tesla

    So, unfortunately I can't respond in the article I want to. But I have to get this out here where it can be said. People really need to get an education on their history, and the histories of other races.

    Black people were not the first slaves. Far from it. People have been taking slaves for millenia, since one person was stronger than another and said, "You belong to me now."

    Black people were not enslaved longer than any other group (this one broke my brain a little). Even if we counted all the way up to the 1960s civil rights movements as part of black slavery, you'd still only get around 400 or 500 years. The Jewish people were enslaved for about 2000 years by the Egyptians. Hey, aren't Egyptians African?

    June 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericanCherokeeFirst

      Race based slavery is new. Columbus brought white slaves with him before black slaves.

      June 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Emma Jo

    There are many types of slavery. You do not have to be black, to be a slave. People need to wake up!!!!

    June 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Fed Up

    Human Trafficking has nothing to do with the slavery discussed in this article, and it's time that this was put to a rest. Blacks continue to enjoy a double sided existence in this country, abusing tax dollars based on the guilt factor from slavery (it did elect a President, after all.) My taxes pay for prison cells because they are not law abiding, yet they want legal standing that gives them hiring preferences. They don't want to work, but they want tax refunds and special status for their strife from over a hundred years ago. They continue to expand as a race, having multiple children that they cannot afford, and cry loudly when one of them is shot for trying to live the "gangsta" persona. They collect welfare checks, but bad mouth the government that issues them, forgetting that the money is earned on the backs of people who are forced to pay it – that's the new level of slavery.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      I am FED UP too......Your comments mirror mine 100 percent!

      June 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Harald

        What time period? I'm sintydug history, and were doing Cold War, I'n Which Russia was involved. If it's cold war, I'd draw the leaders, Stalin etcI'd do what the person above me suggested, and maybe there flag.

        September 14, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • hahhahhahaha

      Nothing you said had anything to do with the context of the story either!!! ROFL

      June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. OpenMyEyes

    Slavery hasn't ended, it just has a new trendy name – – "Human Trafficking".

    Those women and children have not asked to be kidnapped and forced into slavery, just like Africans weren't asked to be kidnapped and forced into slavery.

    No, slavery hasn't ended.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MJH

    Odd reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, as it didn't free all slaves.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      It might seem odd, but Juneteenth is linked to the Emancipation Proclamation as the 13th amendment wasn't yet ratified – Major General Granger was making the decree under the Emancipation Proclamation as Texas was a part of the Confederacy. While the treaty ending the war was signed in April 1865, the last shot of the war was fired June 22nd. The 13th Amendment officially abolishing all slavery was passed by Congress in January 1865, but wasn't ratified until December 1865.

      June 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RodRoderick

    I wouldn't call it the end of slavery, as the 1% have enslaved the rest of America.

    June 19, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Whatnow?

      I'm not enslaved by anyone. Blaming the rich becuase you don't want to work hard enough to get rich is childish.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Eric

        fourbearsandacatNovember 13, 2011I believe that many of our gonrevment officials, weather they are Republican or Democrats will work for whatever interest profit them. Of course, this is my personal opinion. I base it only on my experience with people and basic human nature. Sorry, I have no really answer for your question.

        September 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |