Juneteenth 2021: when and how to celebrate the significant holiday

Everything you need to know for this year's Juneteenth

black lives matter protest, juneteenth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Juneteenth 2021—a holiday that has been overlooked throughout history—is more important than ever before. Following the the Black Lives Matter movement and the demand for equality, the U.S. has witnessed a resurgence in popularity for the holiday, which marks the end of slavery in America. Here's what you need to know: 

Juneteenth 2021: when will it be celebrated?

Americans will celebrate Juneteenth—aka Jubilee Day, Black Independence Day, and Emancipation Day—on Saturday, June 19. This marks the day Union soldiers arrived in Texas in1865 to ensure that all slaves had been freed. Although president Abraham Lincoln made this announcement two years prior when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Texas did not follow suit.

Is Juneteenth a federal holiday now?

As of June 17th, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill into law that makes Juneteenth a federal holiday. 

"All Americans can feel the power of this day and learn from our history -- and celebrate progress and grapple with the distance we've come (and) the distance we have to travel," the president said during a press conference, according to CNN.

How to celebrate Juneteenth

Various events such as barbecues, parades, discussions, and fireworks displays are taking place in towns across America. You're encouraged to explore your local offerings. If you're interested in taking a stand, have a look at non-profit organizations that are working in Black communities. During this time, people are also urged to support their favorite Black-owned businesses and artists. 

According to a 2020 Essence op-ed from then-Presidential candidate Joe Biden, recognizing Juneteenth is one of the best ways to move forwards and bring our country together. 

"It reminds us of just how vulnerable our nation is to being poisoned by systems and acts of inhumanity. And it reminds us, too, of our incredible capacity to heal, to hope, and to emerge from our darkest moments of cruelty into a better version of ourselves," he wrote.