In 1865, enslaved Africans in Galveston Texas did not know about the Emancipation Proclamation or that they had been freed two years earlier. On June 19th, 1865 Union soldiers finally worked their way south to Texas where the last remaining slaves in America were declared free. June 19th, or Juneteenth, has become America’s “other Independence Day,” an official state holiday in Texas, celebrated around the country, and officially observed in 43 additional states.

Learn more about the history of Juneteenth and why Juneteenth is important for America in this video from The Root:

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