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The Wilson Center Commemorates the 159th Anniversary of Juneteenth

Today the Wilson Center reflects on a pivotal moment in our nation’s history—the day when the last enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom on June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. This day represents the end of a dark chapter of slavery in the United States and marks a significant step toward justice and equality.

Juneteenth is a time to honor the resilience, strength, and contributions of African Americans throughout history. It is a moment to remember the individuals who fought for their freedom and the freedoms of future generations. Their legacy inspires us to strive for a society that upholds the principles of liberty, equality, and justice for all.

This year, as we celebrate Juneteenth, we acknowledge the progress we have made, while recognizing the work that remains. Systemic racism, inequality, and injustice persists in many forms, challenging us to reflect on our commitments and actions toward building a more inclusive and equitable society.