Today’s video Google Doodle, illustrated by Los Angeles-based guest artist Loveis Wise and narrated by actor and activist LeVar Burton, honors the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth. Short for “June Nineteenth,” Juneteenth marks the true end of chattel slavery across the United States— which didn’t actually occur until 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Specifically, it marks the day when enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas (one of the westernmost points in the Confederate South) finally received news of their liberation.
Juneteenth (a portmanteau of June and nineteenth) (also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Liberation Day,) is an unofficial American holiday and an official Texas state holiday, celebrated annually on the 19th of June in the United States to commemorate Union army general Gordon Granger announcing federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, proclaiming that all slaves in Texas were now free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them almost two and a half years earlier and the American Civil War had largely ended with the defeat of the Confederate States in April, Texas was the most remote of the slave states, with a low presence of Union troops, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent.