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Jessica Poitevien
Jun 2021

The Emancipation Proclamation might have gone into effect on January 1, 1863, but it took more than two years for that news to reach the last remaining enslaved people of Galveston, Texas. A mostly Black troop of Union soldiers freed them when they occupied the Gulf Coast city on June 19, 1865, which is now considered to be the day slavery ended in the United States, celebrated as Juneteenth. “Anybody who values freedom should embrace Juneteenth,” says historian Sam Collins.

Artist Reginald C. Adams worked with a group of painters to create the mural / Courtesy of Juneteenth Legacy Project

Collins created the Juneteenth Legacy Project to expand the narrative of the day. It has several components, including support for a movement to make Juneteenth a national holiday. But its crowning jewel is Absolute Equality, a 5,000-square-foot mural depicting key moments of Black history, including Juneteenth. The artwork will soon include an augmented-reality app so visitors can point their phones at the mural and connect to educational videos. juneteenthlegacyproject.com

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