When the 13 original colonies declared their independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, Black Americans remained in chains. Their enslavement continued even after the colonies won their freedom in 1783, after fighting the Revolutionary War. They remained slaves for another 82 years. So, this year, while most Americans are marking the birthday of the United States with burgers, hot dogs, and fireworks, many Black Americans will already have celebrated their independence the previous month, on Juneteenth.
What Is Juneteenth and Why Do We Celebrate It?
Independence Day is the quintessential all-American holiday, but those annual Fourth of July celebrations don't hold the same significance for all Americans. That's where Juneteenth comes in.