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Why is Juneteenth an important day?

Emancipation Day, also known as Juneteenth, is a day of remembrance, reflection and celebration for the Black community. Juneteenth is celebrated to give thanks for all of the contributions, strength and sacrifices of our enslaved ancestors. Without them, our growth and courage would have been impossible.

Juneteenth is a result of the events that occurred on June 19, 1865, after Union General Gordon Granger made his way to Galveston, Texas, bringing information to enslaved African Americans about the ending of the Civil War. With Texas being a geographically isolated state, over 250,000 people were still working as slaves on plantations when Grander arrived to deliver the news more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. These numbers were high due to the fact that many slave owners migrated to Texas during the war.

Did you know…

  • Gov. Jared Polis signed the designation into law on Monday, May 2, 2022, and is now Colorado’s 11th official state holiday
  • Juneteenth has been celebrated in Denver for 70 years
  • Three Black Colorado lawmakers advocated for the bill: Sen. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, Denver Democrat Rep. Leslie Herod, and Denver Democrat Sen. James Coleman.
  • Throughout the years, Juneteenth has taken other names: Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, and even Cel-Liberation Day.

How to Celebrate Juneteenth: