We honor and celebrate the day all people living in the United States, including formerly enslaved Black people, were officially granted freedom. As we commemorate emancipation and the revolutionary role that enslaved and free Black people played in securing their own liberation, we must also think about the progress we still have to make as a country.
Juneteenth is a combination of the words "June" and "nineteenth", also known as Emancipation Day. It's annually celebrated on June 19.
Ben Haith, a Boston community activist and founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation, created the Juneteenth flag in 1997 to celebrate and symbolize the holiday and movement's history, heart, and future. (flag illustrated in the image above, behind the celebrating people)
- The star symbolizes freedom for every Black American in every state. It also alludes to the Lone Star of Texas, where the last enslaved Black people were freed.
- The burst symbolizes a new beginning.
- The arc of the colors symbolize a limitless horizon of opportunities for Black Americans.
In honor of Juneteenth, ACLU National is launching a new video series called Systemic Equality that asks external experts to share their visions of true systemic equality: an inclusive and equitable future for America. A future that roots out injustice, challenges our racist institutions, and ensures every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.
Systemic Equality is a racial justice agenda that seeks to address America’s legacy of racism and systemic discrimination through advocacy efforts and legal strategies that aim to ensure equal access and opportunity for all.
We invite you to learn more below and consider supporting a community event in your neighborhood.