For the week of June 19-26
1865—The Juneteenth Celebration begins. June 19, 1865 marks the day that many Blacks actually became free, especially those in Texas. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation technically freed all slaves in 1863, slavery actually continued in Texas until the end of the Civil War. It was not until June 19, 1865 that many slaves learned they had been freed. They called the day of freedom “Juneteenth.” It is normally marked with picnics, barbecues and commemorations. In 1980, the day became an official holiday in Texas.
1918—Ebony and Jet magazines founder John H. Johnson is born in Arkansas City, Ark. He moved to Chicago to build his publishing empire. Johnson was the first African-American to appear on the Forbes magazine list of 400 richest Americans with an estimated wealth of $500 million. Johnson died in August 2005. However, both magazines are now in financial trouble.
2009—The U.S. Congress issues a formal apology to Black Americans for the slavery of their ancestors. The resolution acknowledged the “fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow laws” which followed slavery. However, the resolution specific rejected paying Blacks reparations for past, discrimination, mistreatment and brutality.