Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. This year, Tennessee United for Human Rights is observing the day with special messages online.
According to juneteenth.com, the Juneteenth celebrations date back to 1865, and it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.
Today, Juneteenth is celebrated in African American communities across the country. In Nashville, the Music City Freedom Festival will commemorate the occasion at Hadley Park starting at noon. For those still avoiding large crowds due to COVID-19, Tennessee United for Human Rights (TnUHR) is sharing virtual messages that day about freedom and basic human rights.
TnUHR was formed as a nonprofit public benefit corporation in 2015 to educate Tennesseans on the basic principles and foundations of human rights. It is the local chapter of United for Human Rights, an international, not-for-profit organization dedicated to implementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its membership is comprised of individuals, educators and groups throughout the world who actively forward the knowledge and protection of human rights by and for all mankind.
United for Human Rights was founded on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first such document ever ratified by the community of nations. Then as now, continued worldwide human rights abuses violate the spirit, intent and articles of this charter. United for Human Rights is committed to advancing human rights through education. An understanding of the 30 rights enshrined in the document is the first step to bringing about their broad implementation.
For more information about Juneteenth and the celebrations around the country, visit www.juneteenth.com.
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