Americans’ awareness of Juneteenth is on the rise: Survey

Far more Americans are aware of Juneteenth and are going to celebrate it this year than in years past, a new survey found.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, polled Americans on their awareness of Juneteenth, now a federal holiday that marks the day in 1865 when Black slaves in Texas learned of their freedom after the Civil War, the last people to be emancipated.

While the holiday is officially marked on June 19, early celebrations across the country are already underway.

The survey found that 90 percent of Americans are now aware of the holiday compared to in 2022, 74 percent said they knew what it was.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents know at least a little about Juneteenth and 17 percent say they know a lot about the holiday.

Black Americans were more likely, 32 percent, to say they know a lot about the holiday. Twenty-two percent of Hispanic Americans know a lot about the holiday, while 13 percent of white Americans say the same.

Among the respondents who have heard of Juneteenth, 68 percent correctly identify why the holiday is celebrated.

In 2021, President Biden signed legislation that made Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Earlier this week, Biden marked the upcoming holiday with a concert on the White House lawn. Amid the celebration, he warned of “old ghosts in new garments trying to take us back,” making it harder for Black people to vote and attacking diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Juneteenth is celebrated because it was the day that the final slaves were notified of their freedom, more than two years after President Lincoln legally freed enslaved people in states that had seceded from the union.

The nearly 250,000 slaves in Galveston, Texas, however, had no idea they had been freed until Gordon Granger issued an order declaring the proclamation.

The date has been celebrated as America’s second Independence Day by Black communities for more than one-and-a-half centuries until formally becoming a federal holiday three years ago.

The YouGov survey was conducted May 23-26 among 1,152 people and has a margin of error of four percent.

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