Learning What Wasn't Taught

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One reason Juneteenth’s history has remained widely misunderstood, or even unknown, is because educators say it’s not often taught in schools and that has a profound impact, erasing the history of systemic racism in this country and the contributions of Black people. In 2020, the meaning of June 19, 1865 is being seized more broadly by activists as an opportunity for the United States to come to terms with how slavery continues to affect the lives of all Americans today and is something for everyone, of every race, to engage in. This year, Juneteenth will be commemorated with protests, marches, a general workers strike, and opportunities for healing and joy across the country. It will also be celebrated as it has been for decades, with cookouts and parades, as well as church gatherings and spirituals, keeping in touch with the original tradition.