153 Years of Juneteenth

The Takeaway

June 19, 2018

Originally published in WNYC on June 19, 2018.

Although, the Emancipation Proclamation - which changed the federal legal status of 3.5 Million people from slave to free - was signed on January 1, 1863, news of their change in status did not reach the enslaved people in the southern states immediately. June 19, 1865 was the day the last group of enslaved people were set free in Galveston, Texas.

Daryl McCullick, left, Ivan Pena, center, and Tariq Sabur perform Capoeira Angola, an African Brazilian martial art, at the annual Juneteenth festival in Phoenix. ( AP Photo/Khampha Bouahanh / AP Photo )

The truth is, many Americans do not know about Juneteenth. This is part of the reason why ABC's hit show Black-ish finally decided to tackle the topic last fall.

Actress Jenifer Lewis, who plays Grandma Ruby on Black-ish joins us to discuss why having Juneteenth in the "mainstream" is important.

We also take you to a Juneteenth celebration in Harlem, New York City. Followed by a discussion with The Atlantic's Vann R. Newkirk II on why the Juneteenth is so quintessentially American.

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