Juneteenth (June 19), also known as Freedom Day, is the anniversary of when enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas learned they were free.
The first step on this nation's long overdue path to ending the practice of slavery was the Emancipation Proclamation, a presidential order which was signed by Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862 and took effect on January 1, 1863. It declared:
“All persons held as slaves within any State… shall be…forever free."
Few people realize that it wasn't until June 19, 1865 – more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation – that Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas and told enslaved African Americans of their emancipation. That day became known as Juneteenth, a day to celebrate freedom granted forever to those who, in their enslavement, played such a pivotal role in the history and building of this nation.
Slavery formally ended with passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on January 31, 1865. It declared:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude… shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
History / Heritage
In Broward County, history has always co-existed comfortably with transformation and change. Over the last 100 years the area has mushroomed from a sparsely-inhabited farming community to become an international tourism hub, creating a tapestry that remains just as vibrant for residents and visitors today. Learn more.
Broward is home to the African American Research Library and Cultural Center, only the third of its kind in the U.S. This 60,000 square-foot public library is home to rare books and artifacts on black history and culture. Take a virtual tour. The library also features an auditorium and exhibit areas providing opportunities to exchange ideas and cultural values as well as promote an understanding and appreciation of the contributions of persons of African descent. Check out Dr. Tameka Bradley Hobbs, Regional Manager for the African American Research Library and Cultural Center providing "A Brief History on Juneteenth."
Broward County Transit has partnered with the African American Research Library and Cultural Center to create an interactive map exploring Broward's Black History called Threads. The map highlights schools, places of worship, social establishments and homes owned / established by prominent Black pioneers who made significant contributions to Broward County since the early 1900s. The map is web and mobile optimized, and all landmarks are mapped along bus routes and nearby bus stops are noted.
And check out this video on Eula Johnson, the first black woman to vote in Broward County, and watch her fight to desegregate Broward County.
Black History Month, celebrated in February, started as a week-long celebration in 1926 before evolving into a month-long tradition. Each year, Black History Month takes on a different theme and 2023 focused on "Black Resistance" exploring how "African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms and police killings," since the nation's earliest days.