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Juneteenth is the oldest African American celebration of emancipation from slavery. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, but news of emancipation moved slowly. Texas was the most remote of the slave states, and the Emancipation Proclamation was not enforced there until two and a half years later, after the Civil War had ended. When the Union army arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865 announcing that all “slaves” were free in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation that the last slave experienced freedom. The name of the observance is a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth”, the date of its celebration.
Pastor Babette Chatman, University Pastor, offers this prayer in celebration of Juneteenth: https://www.augsburg.edu/campusministry/2020/06/18/a-prayer-for-juneteenth/