Tomorrow (June 19, 2021) will be the first official Federal Juneteenth. Some states have established it as such, but never, until now, our Federal Government. It’s a holiday that has been celebrated by a large portion of Americans for years but was made official by Congress just in time to recognize it this year, 2021. It has existed among African-Americans since 1865 and reflects the Emancipation Proclamation, which Lincoln had signed two years before but which didn’t reach throughout the country until African-Americans learned about it in Texas in 1865. It has also been referred to as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day, which sums up its significance. It’s a time for Americans with roots in Africa to be joyful about not only their freedom but also their culture and achievements. It’s a time, too, for the rest of us to celebrate the end of a disgraceful, dehumanizing period in our nation’s history and to vow to work harder toward eliminating the social, economic, and political vestiges of that period that still exist as a shadow over our country today.