Juneteenth and General Order No. 3, read on June 19, 1865 announcing that all slaves were free. US President Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. Two and a half years later, in June of 1865, more than two thousand Federal soldiers of the 13th Army Corps arrived in Galveston and with them Major General Gordon Granger, Commanding Officer, District of Texas. Granger’s men marched through Galveston reading General Order, No. 3 at numerous locations. The order informed all, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves were free (Galveston History, 2022).

Juneteenth marks our country’s second Independence Day. Although it has long celebrated in the African American community, this monumental event remains largely unknown to most Americans (National Museum of African American History & Culture, 2022).

This year marks a continual celebration of Juneteenth in Columbus, Georgia. Chaired by Councilwoman Toyia Tucker and Civic Center Director, Rob Landers, the inaugural Unity Week & Juneteenth Jubilee Committee is comprised of over 30 local leaders and community organizations represented. The Columbus Civic Center will host the cities first unified Unity Week & Juneteenth celebration starting June 14th – June 20th, 2022.

With the theme “From the Diaspora to our Destiny”, our aim is to commemorate African American influence into American culture through a celebration of arts, music, fashion, food and culture. We are looking forward to this inaugural weeklong education and celebration. If you want more information on how you or your group can be involved please contact us at juneteenth@columbusga.org