THE JUNETEENTH STORY
Our History: Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day of Freedom commemorates June 19, 1865, the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Galveston, TX. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation (abolition of slavery) became official on January 1, 1863.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until two and one half years later on June 19, 1865, the enslaved Africans in Texas were informed that the war had ended and they were free. Juneteenth is a word blend of June and nineteenth. Currently, Juneteenth is not a national holiday but is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in forty-five states. Delaware was the 4th state to celebrate and observe Juneteenth. The Delaware Juneteenth Association (DEJA) has been observing this historical event for 24 years.
Our Mission: To develop and implement strategic prevention programming that addresses the problems facing our communities: Alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse, gang related violence, teen pregnancy and low self-esteem. To educate our children from preschool to young adults through workshops and cultural events providing this knowledge, while celebrating the African American experience as our heritage relates to all people.
Positive Community Impact: DEJA, a grassroots organization, along with the effort and diligence of organizer, Bernie Wilkins and then State Representative Margaret Rose Henry, succeeded with a great accomplishment. On February 28, 2000, then Governor, Tom Carper signed legislation to acknowledge Juneteenth as a state holiday. It is recognized every third Saturday in June. Our state celebration has included family days in the park, Underground Railroad tours, parades, concerts, pageants, religious observances, Male Talent Showcases and fundraising galas.
For more information, please contact us at (302) 314-5863 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“No One Is Free Until All Peoples Are Free”…Author Unknown