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Juneteenth is a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States.  The Emancipation Proclamation took effect on Jan. 1, 1863 ending slavery, but that news did not reach the western most Confederate state of Texas until June 19, 1865.  Immediate celebrations ensued, and Juneteenth has been celebrated in Texas ever since.  Those celebrations quickly spread to African American communities around the country.  Juneteenth became a national holiday in 2021, though more and more states had begun to officially recognize the holiday long before.  (It became a state holiday in Massachusetts in 2020).  Juneteenth is a day of celebration and remembrance for all citizens, as this nation strives to fulfill its ideals of life, liberty, and happiness for everyone who lives here.  In the words of Michelle Obama, “You cannot take your freedoms for granted. Just like generations who have come before you, you have to do your part to preserve and protect those freedoms.”  Learn more about this important holiday and how to celebrate it by reading some of these books.  And Happy Juneteenth!

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