The Switch Up — The living legacy of Juneteenth

For more than 400 years, 15 million Africans were the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, according to data from the United Nations. By 1860, when the last census before the Civil War was taken, there were 4 million slaves in the South.

But three years later, on Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made history by signing the Emancipation Proclamation — essentially freeing the slaves in Confederate states. But, it would take more than two years for that news to reach enslaved people in Galveston, Texas.

That’s where the legacy of Juneteenth begins. But it wasn’t until 2021 that President Biden signed legislation to make the day a federal holiday.

With commentary from guests such as Wisdom Cole, the NAACP’s advocacy director, and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), among others, this episode dives into the significance of Juneteenth and why we still celebrate the day nearly 160 years later.

Listen above.

The Switch Up podcast series — hosted by The Hill’s Cheyanne M. Daniels — explores the intersection of race and politics through intimate conversations with leading scholars, advocates and legislators from communities of color. Follow The Switch Up on Spotify.

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