| By Jason Everett |
On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Texas received the news that they were free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 was supposed to free all enslaved people in Confederate states, word did not reach Texas until that day in June, more than two years later.
Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The day has been celebrated around the country since that time, and although there has recently been a push to make Juneteenth a national holiday, Juneteenth is a topic that should be covered in more high school history and social studies classes.
Gale In Context: High School‘s new Juneteenth portal aims to aid students in their research on this important celebration. Students can read overviews of Juneteenth as well as articles on the American Civil War, slavery and abolition, the Emancipation Proclamation, Black popular culture, U.S. festivals and celebrations, and more. Featured content presents a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, myths about Juneteenth, and an NPR broadcast on the importance of Juneteenth. Students will find a biography and news stories about Opal Lee, a retired educator from Texas, whose goal is to make Juneteenth a national holiday. Finally, students can read another great overview of the origins and evolution of the Juneteenth holiday and General Order No. 3, the order which officially ended slavery in Texas, via the portal’s website links.