Juneteenth 2022 : Today’s Doodle, illustrated by father-son artist duo Jerome and Jeremiah Jones,

Today’s Doodle, illustrated by father-son artist duo Jerome and Jeromyah Jones, commemorates Juneteenth, an annual federal holiday that celebrates the liberation of Black enslaved people in the United States. On this day in 1865, over 250,000 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas received news of their freedom, marking the official end of the Civil War. 

Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln in early 1863, many Black Americans were kept enslaved in the western-most Confederate states like Texas. General Granger, and his Union troops, marched to Texas and issued General Order No. 3, which announced the news of the Proclamation.

Upon hearing the news, former slaves became free Americans by executive decree, and many migrated north in search of new lives and in hopes of reuniting their families torn apart by slavery. In 1866, thousands traveled back to Galveston on June 19 in recognition of their newfound freedom, calling the gathering Jubilee Day. In 1872, when faced with backlash for their pilgrimage back to the island city, a group of Black Americans purchased 10 acres of land in Houston and named it Emancipation Park. It was devoted specifically as a Juneteenth celebration site and is still around to this day.

Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Texas in 1980. When Juneteenth was officially named a national federal holiday in June 2021, the city of Galveston dedicated a 5,000 square-foot mural titled “Absolute Equality” near the location where General Granger announced the news of freedom.

All throughout the country, Black Americans celebrate Juneteenth with parades, gatherings, and marches that honor the struggles of those who came before and the futures of those who continue to pave the way forward.  This year, Juneteenth falls on Father’s Day in the U.S. and today’s Doodle artwork pays homage to this bridge between multiple generations, exploring education, joy, community, and the meaning of emancipation. 

Juneteenth is a holiday meant for remembrance and resilience, and a call-to-action for progress towards a more just, unified and equitable nation.

Happy Juneteenth!

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