Juneteenth: The “Other” Independence Day

(Don’t Know Much) Kenneth C. Davis, June 19, 2018 — Juneteenth: The “Other” Independence Day

On Tuesday June 19, I will speak at the African Burial Ground National Memorial in Downtown Manhattan at 1 pm. This is a free event and is family friendly. It is also part of Night at The Museums- free admission to a number of downtown museums.

June 19, 2018 is a day to mark “Juneteenth” –a holiday celebrating emancipation at the end of the Civil War.

For centuries, slavery was the dark stain on America’s soul, the deep contradiction to the nation’s founding ideals of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and “All men are created equal.” When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, he took a huge step toward erasing that stain. But the full force of his proclamation would not be realized until June 19, 1865—Juneteenth, as it was called by slaves in Texas freed that day.

“Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day” My article in Smithsonian (June 15, 2011)

I will also be on the Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC) that day to discuss the event and holiday.

My website has a description of the holiday which celebrates emancipation after the Civil War which I wrote for the New York Times.