Joshua Houston leads a Juneteenth Parade in Huntsville, Texas, circa 1900.

Juneteenth, Jim Crow

How the fight of one Black Texas family to make freedom real offers lessons for Texas lawmakers trying to erase history from the classroom.
Juneteenth parade in Galveston in 2021.

The Story We’ve Been Told About Juneteenth Is Wrong

The real history of Juneteenth is much messier—and more inspiring.
Photograph of Opal Lee.

"Grandmother of Juneteenth" Celebrates Federal Holiday -- But There Is More Work To Do

Before Juneteenth became an official federal holiday, 94-year-old Opal Lee was on a mission.
A group of formerly enslaved people at a county almshouse, c. 1900.

Juneteenth Is About Freedom

On Juneteenth, we should remember both the struggle against chattel slavery and the struggle for radical freedom during Reconstruction.
Ashton Villa in Galveston

Celebrating Juneteenth in Galveston

I had sung the Black National Anthem countless times, but hearing those words reverberate around me in this place, on this day, moved me in a new way.
A painting entitled Our Town, with Black children playing on a suburban street

The Truth About Black Freedom

This year’s Juneteenth commemorations must take a deeper look at the history of Black self-liberation to understand what emancipation really means.

Growing Up with Juneteenth

How a Texan holiday became a national tradition.

The Living History of Juneteenth, Our Next National Holiday

A celebration of emancipation in Texas is taking hold in the minds of Americans everywhere.

Juneteenth And National New Beginnings

The holiday is a reminder of the Civil War's larger meaning, the unfulfilled promise of Reconstruction, and the reinforcement of democratic values.
Two people in a horse-drawn carriage

Early Photographs of Juneteenth Celebrations

Historical photographs of early Juneteenth celebrations throughout its home state of Texas and across the country.

The Necessity of Juneteenth

The most famous Emancipation holiday is more necessary now than it has ever been.

The Hidden History Of Juneteenth

The internecine conflict and the institution of slavery could not and did not end neatly at Appomattox or on Galveston Island.

Juneteenth and Barbecue

The menu of Emancipation Day
Illustration of Annette Gordon-Reed.

Majority Rule on the Brink

The legacies of our racial past, and the prospects ahead for an embattled republic.
6 African American's at an Emancipation Day celebration on June 19, 1900

The History of How Emancipated People Were Kept Unfree Needs To Be Remembered Too

Emancipation Days symbolized America’s attempt to free the enslaved across the nation. But those days were unable to prevent new forms of economic slavery.
A supporter of US President Donald Trump holds a Confederate flag outside the Senate Chamber during a protest after breaching the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. - The demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.

Jan. 6 Was a "Turning Point" in American History

Pulitzer-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed reflects on the battle for the past and the fragile state of American democracy.
Cartoon depiction of a confederate statue, its hat falling off as it is lifted off a pedestal covered in graffiti about love and justice

After the Lost Cause

Why are politics so consumed with the past?
Laundresses with Union soldiers, circa 1863.

On Juneteenth, Three Stirring Stories of How Enslaved People Gained Their Freedom

Millions of Americans gained freedom from slavery in a slow-moving wave of emancipation during the Civil War and in the months afterward.
Galveston Central Wharf in 1861

Granger’s Juneteenth Orders and the Limiting of Freedom

To what extent did the Union general's famous orders actually liberate the enslaved in Texas?
6 Black Americans celebrating Juneteenth in 1900.

Reunion, Juneteenth and the Meaning of the Civil War

What would it mean to define the Civil War as a necessary and crucial final step in the long, even more tragic history of slavery in America?